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Old 09-29-2017, 11:48 PM   #1811 (permalink)
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:05 PM   #1812 (permalink)
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This is one of my favourite threads on the forum, mainly because it is full of opinion and witty comment. In the early days it was a split between optimism and scepticism, but lately the only debate is over "is he a crook or a fool".
And I think that's a shame!

There's still much good that can come from this discussion, so I'd like to ask you all to consider a serious point and give some opinion on that.

The "barriers to entry" in vehicle manufacturing are fairly high, I think we would all accept, so imagine yourself in Elio's shoes at the start of this (mis)adventure.
We can see clearly with the benefit of hindsight that this project was doomed from the outset, but what alternative strategies were open to him? And would any of them have been more likely to succeed?

Personally, I'm most interested in the volume production conundrum, or "manufacturing hell" that Elon Musk describes. The central problem is how can you compete on cost without the sales volume and attendant scale efficiency?

So, if you start small (because you can't get plant & equipment investment for an unproven product), how can you grow quickly enough to capitalise on the market, before the established players come and fight you?
Look at Tesla, now every major car maker is taking them on! Will they get a return on their investment?

My own take on this, is that the only way to enter this mature market is to compete in a "niche" that is not price sensitive and build volume organically. The problem is that, low-cost efficient vehicles tend to be highly price sensitive!
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:42 PM   #1813 (permalink)
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Elio didn't even have a developed product. Not prior, not during, not after, not now. After how many MILLIONS collected and spent???

But the clincher is Elio put the bulk of his energy and capital into fundraising and marketing; product development took a huge back seat to that. I'd go so far as to say product "development" was only grudgingly undertaken as a means to keep the public interested thus enabling the main focus- fundraising- to continue.
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Old 09-30-2017, 07:12 PM   #1814 (permalink)
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I hear you Frank. So to paraphrase - no serious development means it must be a scam, right?
But do you think there was a way?, I mean "if he really wanted" ?
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:55 PM   #1815 (permalink)
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Yes, if he really wanted to build trikes instead of scam people he could have.

He had more than enough product interest... at the time. Just like Aptera.

He didn't have to go "all in" on a huge manufacturing facility and so many special tooled components i.e. a proprietary engine before getting things going; Slingshot uses GM sourced engines and, well, just about all other commercially available trikes do. Like Vanderhall https://vanderhallusa.com/ They are a real, going concern with real, available, affordable product. How did they do it? They weren't big shots with bottomless pockets. P.S. And endless fund-raising and endless excuses for not delivering.

Or Tesla. They had Lotus build their first model to their specifications. Low overhead while learning the ropes and building momentum.

There still is a way but I think now it'll have to wait for higher gas prices and also it might need a new name to help wash away the horrible taste of "Elio".
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:13 PM   #1816 (permalink)
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Clearly people here are still fascinated by the Elio concept, even if it's become 90% negative. Elio def f'ed up paying himself a $200k+ salary. However, I would argue he spent too much time in development, seeking perfection.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:21 PM   #1817 (permalink)
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"Seeking perfection" BAH. Same line Aptera used. Both of them let the interested crowd do half of their "development work" for free too.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:23 PM   #1818 (permalink)
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Yes Frank. We have heard your opinion.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:45 PM   #1819 (permalink)
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OK I have a question: How much more perfect is the latest iteration vs an early one? Did the early one have any "deal killer" flaws or was it good enough to produce and incorporate any diddly-fiddly nits and improvements for later models?
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:01 AM   #1820 (permalink)
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The 'early one' already compromised the styling of the original design.


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