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There was once a time when Germany’s largest automakers looked on with amusement as Tesla, a small Silicon Valley electric car maker, purchased a gigantic car factory in Fremont, CA to produce its first ground-up premium sedan.

Today, amidst the Model 3’s disruption and the impending arrival of the Model Y, it appears that no one in Das Auto is laughing anymore. 

Electrification is something that used to be scoffed at, especially among the industry’s serious players. When Tesla was starting out, the transportation sector was still fully committed to the internal combustion engine. And in this era, Germany’s elite three — Daimler, Volkswagen, and BMW — reigned supreme. Their vehicles were sought after, and they were known for their power and pedigree. That was, at least, until upstart companies such as Tesla entered the picture.



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