Is Detroit still the auto capital of the U.S.? That is the question, as Silicon Valley-based companies such as Tesla and Google have ramped up the focus on electric and driverless vehicle technology.
But Scott Evans, Editor at Motor Trend, argues that Detroit automakers are staking their own claim on the region.
“Once they realized that software was going to be the future of automobiles, they all opened up R&D shops in Silicon Valley,” he said. “They’ve got all sorts of tech centers. They’ve got thousands of people employed out there, working closely with all the tech companies to figure out how they can get the latest tech into vehicles faster than ever before.”
Many major car manufacturers are showing off that hot new tech this week at the Detroit Auto Show. But one company is noticeably absent: Tesla. Evans says the electric automaker, known for its cash-intensive business model, would rather allocate its resources elsewhere.
“Rather than renting space at a major auto show like this, which can be pretty expensive, they’re going with stick to word-of-mouth,” he said. “Everyone knows Tesla. Tesla is in the news all the time, they don’t feel like they need to advertise much at all. You never see Tesla TV commercials because they’re a household name already.”
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