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最近电动汽车突然狂火起来,特别是特斯拉公司推出了新型3的小型廉价轿车,一时间人们疯狂的前往厂家在全球设的门市部去订货。看情景似乎电动轿车要大火一把。可今天读到了一篇小文儿,作者比较客观的评价了特斯拉目前的状况,以及市场将对特斯拉产品有什么反应。为此,特别将此文全文做了翻译,为的是让大家更好的理解参考之用,相信很多热衷电动汽车的朋友们定会对這一内容感兴趣。基于本人的水平有限,一定有理解上的疏忽,还望大家在阅读时加以指正。

Tesla is about to repeat a huge mistake — and this time it could be even worse

特斯拉电动汽车公司這次又要犯个大错-而且此番会更加的每况愈下

Tesla_is_about_to_repeat-f57a62b1e4be43382ce532a376869228.jpg

Matthew DeBord,Business Insider

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(Tesla Motors)
The Tesla Model 3.
特斯拉3型电动车


Tesla has taken in
well over 300,000 preorders since it unveiled the mass-market Model 3 vehicle just about a week ago.

从大概一周前特斯拉将它的普及型电动车3型闪亮登场以来已经接到超高30万的预订单。

That’s epic, and the frenzy to get in on the latest Tesla — at $1,000 a pop, and with a potential wait of several years before your car can be delivered — has led to some hyperventilating about what the electric-car maker has accomplished.

那简直就是个划时代,且疯狂的人们也不管离他们拿到车还要等上数年就将1000 大刀一把投入到最新技术的特斯拉里去,而这最新技术带给这家电动汽车生产厂商的便是所取得的辉煌成果所产生的强大动力。

Yes, 325,000 deposits on an as-yet-constructed automobile is unprecedented in the auto industry. It might be unprecedented in any industry. (The only thing I can think of that comes close would be that time Led Zeppelin broke the internet when the band staged a one-off reunion in 2007, and seemingly every music fan on earth wanted a ticket.)

的确,车还没造出来就拿到了325千份的订单这在汽车工业史上恐怕是前所未有的,也许在任何一种工业史上都是前所未有的吧!(唯一让我想到的就是类似2007年英国老牌乐队Led Zeppelin再次相聚登台献艺时的情景,恨不得全球任何一个音乐迷都想搞到一张入场券一样的疯狂)

Tesla has every right to celebrate, and possibly panic. The carmaker so far has built 50,000 cars in a year. In 2016 it is aiming for between 80,000 and 90,000, but it isn’t off to a good start. And those 325,000 Model 3 preorders, and counting, represent about 200,000 more Teslas than are on the road globally.

特斯拉无论从哪方面讲都可以理直气壮地为此庆祝一番,然而可能会乐极生悲。特斯拉到目前为止每年的汽车生产量是5万辆。2016年的生产目标是年产量大约在8万到9万之间,但是這一切并不意味着是个好的开始。有了这325,000的预订单,你就数吧到时候在全球路上跑的大概要比现在特斯拉生产的电动车多20万辆。

But there’s a bigger problem than not being able to build the Model 3. Tesla may have repeated a mistake it made before, just on a much larger scale.

可最大的问题是没有能力生产3型电动车。特斯拉或许在重蹈它之前犯的错误,且所犯的错误的程度会更大。

Fooled you once 你再次上当了

When the Model S sedan launched in 2012, it had been under development for quite a while, and it had been designed and engineered in a world that had seen SUVs fall out of favor. The hangover of gas at $4 a gallon in the US was still fresh. It wasn’t clear then that SUVs would stage a comeback.

2012年特斯拉首推S型电动轿车时,研发过程就持续了相当长的时间,而当时整个设计研发过程都是在SUV失宠的状况下进行的。美国4块美金一加仑汽油仍然具有吸引人,也不清楚SUV会不会卷土重来。

But stage a comeback they did, persuading many buyers to return to these most American of vehicles. Tesla had always planned to create a vehicle with more utility, having unveiled the Model X in 2012 (but not launching it until 2015). However, for three years, as SUV sales bounced back robustly, and it started to become obvious that the family sedan might be in terminal decline, Tesla wasn’t selling a ute.

但如果说服很多购买者回到购买美国车的话,卷土重来看来是板上钉钉的事了。特斯拉总想计划推出一款多用途电动车,原计划是在2012年推出(可一直到2015年也没见踪迹)3年了随着SUV的销售强劲反弹,家庭轿车销售成下降趋势,這已经开始凸显了,特斯莱看来会一辆都卖不出去。

All-wheel-drive was added to the Model S in October of 2014, but that was mainly to make the sedan more appealing to customers in the US Northeast and northern Europe.

2014 S型电动车加上了4轮驱动,可只是对美国东北部和北欧的用户有吸引力。

With the Model 3, Tesla has indicated that the vehicle is actually a platform, a base on which other types of cars and trucks can be constructed.

随着3型车的出现,特斯拉已经表明這款车实际上就是一个平台,基于這个平台,其它轿车和卡车都能建造出来。

But the 3 unveiling mirrors Tesla’s past: The original two-seat Roadster was followed by a large four-door sedan, and that sedan has been followed by a smaller version.

3型电动车的推出反映了特斯拉的过去:原来在2门跑车推出来后跟着的就是一款大型的4门轿车,而随后就推出了更小版的轿车。

Given the state of the US market especially — and for now, the US is largely where Tesla’s sales are concentrated — it might have made more sense to skip the midsize sedan version of the 3 and roll out a compact SUV as the mass-market product.

根据美国市场的现状,特别是到了现在,美国其实才是特斯拉销售的主战场-就应该是放弃像3型这种中型轿车,转而生产大规模的小型SUV才会更有实际意义。

In theory, if Tesla’s platforming strategy works, it shouldn’t make that much of a difference: An SUV or crossover could be built of the same underpinnings as the Model 3 sedan.

理论上,如果特斯拉的平台战略行得通的话,应该区别不大:也就是说可以实现SUV3型轿车同时交叉生产。

But the optics aren’t quite right, and it makes matters worse that Tesla just launched the Model X, whose birth was difficult but whose arrival shows that Tesla can create a spectacular vehicle. That’s a tough act to follow.

可想象的总不一定会对,特斯拉推出了X型后会使问题进一步恶化,因为X车型的诞生异常艰难但还是生产出来了,只不过特斯拉创造出了一辆惊人的汽车,而后就很难有什么跟进了。

The problems keep coming 问题持续不断

There’s another problem: The Model 3 preorder customers won’t be able to configure their vehicle for some time. It makes sense that Tesla will have between now and 2017 or 2018 to develop a Model 3 crossover, and many customers may choose the truck over the car.

还有另外一个问题:就是特斯拉要在20172018年之间要开发3型过度车,所以3型电动车的预订客户们没法配置他们的车。而许多客户就会放弃這款车转而去买卡车(也就是SUV這类车型)了。

But Tesla may only be able to execute on a passenger-car design. Model S production, for a $100,000 luxury sedan, has come along nicely; Model S made up the bulk of the nearly 15,000 vehicles than Tesla delivered in the first quarter of 2016.

但特斯拉唯一能控制生产的车型就是S型电动车,10万美金一辆的豪华型轿车就這样悄然出炉了;S型在特斯拉2016年交付的近15,000车辆中占了大部分。

Model X is another story. Production is seriously lagging behind with this vehicle, as Tesla works through what it rather melodramatically described as its “hubris” in making the X overly complicated.

还有X系列的问题。随着特斯拉侃得太大,口吐狂言说可以生产X型。而它生产這款车的能力越发显得严重不足就使得X车变得异常复杂。

Tesla should be able to build just about any type of vehicle at this point. It has abundant excess production capacity at its plant in California; electric cars are simpler to assemble than gas-powered ones; and this isn’t exactly experimental particle physics we’re talking about here. Traditional automakers build everything from luxury sedans to big pickup trucks without breaking a sweat.

基于這点,特斯拉应该能产出任何车型。在它位于加州的厂生产能力就绰绰有余;电动汽车比汽油动力的车更容易组装;我们這里谈的并不是准确的实验粒子物理学说。传统汽车制造商不费吹灰之力就可以生产出从豪华轿车到大型皮卡。

I knew we were going to see a sedan version of the Model 3 first, but I cringed slightly when it actually appeared. Not because it looked bad — it’s actually very cool-looking — but because I just knew it was the wrong vehicle for the market.

我心里清楚我们会首次看到3型电动轿车,不过我有点儿诚惶诚恐地说这部车实际上已经露面儿了。不是因为它品质差-实际上这部车看起来非常帅气,只是因为我清楚它的市场定位错了。

It gets worse 情况会更加糟糕

The situation could be worse in 2017, when the first Model 3s are supposed to hit the streets. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has argued that sedans are finished and the market has made a permanent structural shift to SUVs and crossovers.

2017年第一辆3型车上路时形势可能会更加糟糕。菲亚特克莱斯勒汽车公司总裁Sergio Marchionne强调轿车时代已经结束,市场营造的氛围已经完全导向了SUV和过度车型上了,这种转变将是永久的。

Tesla could wind up delivering the Model 3 sedan to a limited market of buyers who want Teslas, while the larger market wants crossovers and won’t want to wait for Tesla to figure out how to build one that it can sell for $35,000 (the Model X, for what it’s worth, arrived with a price tag well north of $100,000).

特斯拉或许会完成交付3型车给那些只想买特斯莱产品占市场有限份额的用户,然而更大的市场用户都想要过度车型,将不会等特斯拉想出如何打造一款卖35,000美元的车(X型就值那价,货到10万块)

I’m not sure this is something Tesla can easily correct. First impressions are important, and though the Model 3 could become a family of vehicles, the first editions — the ones that drove the massive preorders — were preproduction sedans. The company may have no choice but to follow through, and the challenge there will be to make sure that a small SUV is in the mix. Which could be tricky if Tesla’s production problems continue.

是否特斯拉可以轻而易举改正过来对我来说没有把握。第一印象往往是重要的,第一版的3型车尽管确实能成为一款家用车-所以才鼓动了那么多人前去预订,被称之为预生产轿车。特斯拉没有别的选择只有走下去了,挑战是肯定的了,小型SUV处在了混合型的位置。如果特斯拉的生产问题得不到解决,到时候可真的就有麻烦了!

There is a silver lining. The Model X arrived late and was beset with glitches, from the exotic falcon-wing doors to the sculptural back seats. CEO Elon Musk admits that Tesla probably shouldn’t have built it. But in the flesh, it’s a fantastic car — a game-changing crossover.

黑暗中总有一线曙光。X型电动车上市晚了且小毛病太多,从那古怪的展翼门到那线条呆板的后座椅。特斯拉的执行总裁埃隆马斯克承认特斯拉或许不应该制造這一车型。可已经造出来了,的确也是一款极好的车子,就算是一个游戏般转换的过度产品吧!

The same could be true of a Model 3 SUV. But I’d genuinely like to see Tesla put a design in front of us. And they might. Musk has hinted that the Model 3 unveiling will be a two-part event. Part one is history. Now we can look forward to part two — and avoiding mistakes of the past.

3SUV道理也是一样的。不过我真的想看到特斯拉把设计摆在我们眼前。你也别说他们真有可能会做到。马斯克已经暗示3型会有两部分的展现,一部分展现历史。现在我们就能期待第二部分了,那就是要避免重蹈覆辙,让过去的错误别再出现了。

为了帮助大家更好的理解,我把有些词的翻译提出来加以说明

1. cringe 原意是奉承,畏缩的含义。在這里我将它翻成了“诚惶诚恐”会更好些。

2. silver lining 表示在黑暗里还有一线曙光。

3. 這里有一个hit 的用法,hit in the street 不是表示车撞到了路上,而是要翻成上路。

4. SUV 的全称是 Sport Utility Vehicle.就是我们俗称的“吉普车”不完全是吉普车,只是长的样子从吉普车进化而来的。我把它统称为“吉普车”这只是我个人的观点。不代表官方的说法。供参阅。

5. Led Zeppelin 是英国的一个摇滚乐队,于1968年在伦敦成立。由著名的吉他手Jimmy Page,以及歌手Robert Plant 等人组成。在当时风靡一时。

6. 文中几次提到了trucks,其实指的就是SUV,因为在北美大部分SUV 都被列为truck的行列里。

7. Hubris 是指“傲慢狂大的”为了读起来更流畅,也更像中文所以我把melodramatically described as its “hubris整个翻成了“侃得太大,口吐狂言”可读性会更好些。

8. without breaking a sweat.应该翻成“不费吹灰之力”

9.

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