Which Automaker Should Tesla Partner With?

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Tesla’s recent skyrocketing market valuation, which now makes it worth over $500 billion, has many wondering if the electric automaker will try to leverage that ridiculous market power with a takeover or merger with another carmaker. CEO Elon Musk claims he’s open to it. That leaves just one question left to be asked — which automaker should it be?

You might think, gosh, it would be great if Suzuki managed an epic U.S. comeback by becoming the lower-cost, more-affordable big-volume brand focusing on smaller, cheaper electric models to contrast the more luxurious Tesla lineup. Or maybe throw Mazda a bone with a merger and help it keep up with the rest of the massive industry carmakers throwing billions behind their EV development programs.

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We could get sort of funky, and maybe have Tesla partner with a battery manufacturer it’s already close with, like Panasonic. Who knows, maybe Panasonic wants to make some cars for itself, too. Or we could just get weird with it, like Chrysler and Tesla. I’m not sure about the reliability ratings for that partnership.

But around the virtual Jalopnik office, there’s only one obvious choice. You have Tesla at the expensive extreme of the EV spectrum, and you have a natural compliment on the far other end, the inexpensive side, where the Changli we’ve been testing this year would dominate with Tesla funding.

Think about it: The Changli is track-capable, efficient for its size, mesmerizing to automotive manufacturing experts and extremely satisfying to drive. Perhaps a few styling tweaks here and there to make the Tesla lineup fall more in line with the more interesting Changli styling and sticker applications, but otherwise I think these two EV titans are a match made in heaven. What do you think?

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik

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DISCUSSION

idiotwhosolde39m5
Idiot who sold e39 m5

Any partnership should be with a company that brings something to the table that Tesla lacks. IMO, Tesla sucks at manufacturing and quality control. A partnership with a company like Toyota would probably be the most beneficial to Tesla, but I don’t think it would benefit Toyota, and I don’t think Toyota would have any interest in that partnership.