Dan Akerson's special interest in tiny Tesla is starting to sound like an obsession.
General Motors' CEO recently set up a small team to study the upstart electric vehicle manufacturer, and last week he said GM plans "to compete head-to-head" against Tesla with the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid.
Akerson told The
Detroit News that "when the ELR comes out late this year, early next, it's certainly in the same postal code as Tesla -- but now we're going to move up. It's not going to be a mass-produced car."
Tesla's Model S carries a base price of $71,070, including shipping, before federal tax credits.
Akerson said that while Tesla has established itself as a high-end electric car brand, GM will "sell more Volts and lose less money on the Volts than they'll lose on the Model S." The GM boss said he is not convinced that pure electrics are a "panacea."
"Does anybody even remember Fisker?" he asked.
Nonetheless, Doug Parks, GM's head of global product programs, said last week that the company is working on an EV that can go 200 miles per charge. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: "Am happy to hear that GM plans to develop an affordable 200-mile range electric car. Right target. Hope others do same."