Mercedes Exec Mocks Tesla's 'Cool Cars' And 'Little Shops'

Tesla didn't show up to the New York Auto Show, maybe they're just too cool. That's what other luxury brands might think. OK, maybe just Mercedes-Benz.

Perhaps after a pep talk from Don Draper Jon Hamm, Mercedes USA's President/CEO Steve Cannon talked to Forbes about electric cars, which then led to comparisons to Tesla. Cannon dismissed such comparisons, because of course Tesla is just a guy in California making some cars (with Mercedes switches), whereas Mercedes sells millions of cars every year around the world.

Tesla is great, but you've got plenty of well-established brands that mean luxury, like Porsche or Mercedes-Benz, and how long do you think we're going to wait and let Tesla be out there alone [selling premium electric cars]? So, good job, Tesla, but will they be able to maintain that with the others of us out in the market? That remains to be seen.

Cannon also took time to question Tesla's sales and service strategies, as opposed to Mercedes having a glass-encased showroom in lots of big cities. He said that could hold Tesla back from becoming mainstream.

Furthermore, even though Mercedes has several hybrids on the way and the B-Class Electric Drive (which essentially has a Tesla drivetrain) coming, Cannon said the potential of EVs is limited "for the rest of my life."

So that's a ringing endorsement for electric Mercedes cars.

Photo: AP Images