MemberNovember 4, 2021 at 6:58 pm
“As our supply chain becomes more established, we’ll ramp to 250 per month, and eventually reach our target of producing 40 vehicles per day.”
<cite>— Pablo Ucar, Vice President of Production and Procurement</cite>
<cite>In very round numbers 250/month is about 10/day & 3,000/year
In very round numbers 40/day is 10,000/year or 833/month</cite>
<cite>Above are totally realistic, but the bigger question is when will they become reality.</cite>
MemberNovember 4, 2021 at 8:55 pm
Wish Aptera would prioritize the build of the loaded, maxxed out, fully optioned vehicles first and follow that Tesla (& others) lead.
Doing so will certainly create a built-in (or automatic) UPSELL mechanism by default in order to get them early PLUS acts as the best presentation & demonstration to all others of what the vehicle is and can be out in the wild.
When you go from loaded first, then downwards in price and features towards base you will maximize your per vehicle efficiency, cash flows & return.
Impress shareholders with greatest revenues per unit whilst growing the overall hype & interest.
Stand alone in the market with the only 1,000mi (1,600 km range) vehicle. Stand out from the beginning on it all.
Obviously, later, the base (& all other model configurations) would be available for delivery but I suggest you’ll have a bunch of more “upgraded” sales if released right & your per vehicle price average of each sale will go up. Maximize by upsell based on a logical release strategy.
I hope the (my) two maxxed out and loaded order reservations won’t have to be the last of the bunch as that seems anti-intuitive to me. Reward people willing to go all in from the outset & are sold on it ALL. The passionate, early believers; they are your best sales people and those vehicles your best showpieces.
It’s always easier to downgrade a brand from a higher level than raise a brand from a lower one. Example: Mercedes can make cheaper models to compete in lower priced competitive markets but it’s much harder for Fiat to compete with Mercedes in its upscale home. You’d buy a cheaper Mercedes before a pricey Fiat. All things AREN’T equal even if they may, perhaps, in fact be.
“Perception is Reality” & “Image is Everything”.
Yes, with the right image, including plenty of time, patience & money (& not necessarily in that order), even perceptions CAN change (over time) but that’s a very difficult hurdle you never choose on purpose.
Same goes on hotel brands. Motel 6 would have trouble competing with Marriott (as one example, ONLY), but a higher level Marriott can much more easily introduce a competitive product downstream ie. Courtyard by Marriott, or whatever. It’s much more easily acceptable to move downstream than it ever is going up.
Tesla comes out with their best and those with the money made others drool. They then introduce lesser priced models to the masses based on the already established presence, cache & image of the brand having already been created.
Lucid followed Tesla’s approach as have others. This is for good reason. These are the ultimate demo vehicles for future sales, up sale & with all the possibilities and potential on display.
Lead with innovation and your best hand. You promote Aptera as going 1,000mi. (1600km) fully charged but don’t plan to have that be immediately available? That’s a mistake.
In all due respect, reconsider your approach IMHO.
Start with your fully loaded models with all the options first “even IF” it delays the initial production numbers a bit. I’ll suggest that installing the bigger battery pack OR the rear hatch with solar vs. glass is minimally different regarding time and labor in the final assembly on the line given Aptera’s overall “Simplicity by Design”. Essentially remember, items install as prefab modules AND there is a shared assembly logic regardless of which.
My examples are for your general thought and consideration. I’m both excited & passionate regarding my Apterae. Can’t wait!
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 1:23 am
I know what you are saying but here are a few thoughts.
1) Teslas first was that cool little roadster based on the Lotus chassis, then they went up.
2) You can supply 2 – 4 lower range Aptera with batteries for what one 1000 miler uses. Batteries being the most expensive part. Means more profit.
3) A fully decked out Aptera will pretty much look the same as the econo model. They are both Marriotts.
I think once they get production going well, your wait time will drop quickly, and you might get a better end product as a result.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 3:28 pm
Ronster, see if you can get me an empty shell with functioning wheels and windows and I’ll coast it down hills then stop and take orders like Nikola. Of course I’ll have my tablet duct taped to the dash to show that it’s working.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 3:30 pm
Also remember the more options you order the more problems you can have. Simple is Genius.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 2:33 am
Whilst I am not claiming “exact” comparison, realize that the Aptera is not yet established. The Marriott has yet to establish as does the Mercedes or Fiat for that matter.
Yes, the Roadster was earlier on for proof of concept and development of a product in general that just didn’t exist and technology that needed to “become”. Times have also changed in the marketplace. The clock is ticking.
Varied competition in the 200 – 400mi. range already exists with more yet to come.
Lead with innovation & your best hand forward. You promote Aptera as going 1,000mi. (1600km) fully charged YET don’t plan to have that model nor full solar be immediately available? No AWD with 3.5 second performance either? That’s a mistake. These are your taglines & competitive selling features. They are your differentiators & reason for being; your promise, your hyped existence.
Stand alone in the market with the only 1,000mi (1,600 km range) vehicle. Stand out from the beginning on it all. These versions are what will help sell all other versions by default
When prices can double from 25G+ to 50G+ I’d tend to think the margins exist on the loaded ones. Double the price vs. half in the same body and same assembly line. Same initial production numbers yet twice the influx of cash makes for happy investors and shareholders.
Bigger ticket with even slightly lower volume to start yet the latter need not be as the actual installation of the components or modules, I’d suggest, is similar once on the assembly line.
Yes, they might be better later but if that is the logic, then slow it down as to get them all right from the start. Bespoke puts the value into the brand and image. If the earlier, cheaper models are in fact less quality or the product is considered just as a three-wheel “me too” entry into the marketplace, then the bigger ticket becomes an even harder sell.
Paying double after release for something that “looks” similar is more of an issue generally speaking than paying less for one later that looks same but less optioned IMHO. Those that are drooling but can’t afford the top configuration will be more than satisfied in perceived value to them. Share in the cache at less money for less need &/or optioned.
As for my other points, my logic remains on the upsell part & all other points, etc.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 5:14 am
Even though my order is for a base Aptera, I agree with your logic, Ronster. Another factor in favor of your “best first” argument is the moving target nature of the EV marketplace. The most optimistic forecast is that Aptera will produce vehicles for sale in the last quarter of 2022. They (and we) must consider what other EV offerings from other manufacturers will be for sale at that time AND what their capabilities will offer. Off hand, I’d expect that 300+ mile range will be the bottom of the barrel with most sporting 400 mile ranges or more. Aptera will be diving into that pool.
As you said, “Times are changing in the marketplace”.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 5:32 am
Glenn, Ronster, Ray – I have slightly different take on this. While I can find points of agreement with all of you, my sense is that the Aptera is SOOO different from any other vehicle, EV or ICE, that the public focus will not be so much on the specifics of range, solar, 0-60 speed, etc as much as it will be on the overall looks, 3-wheel concept. Regardless of specifics, the Apterae will all look pretty much alike – and when the first ones hit the road, the look alone will be what draws the attention. At that point, I believe that potential customers will appreciate they will be available with different range, solar and off-road capabilities. Urbanites may appreciative that they can purchase the most basic version for under $30K, perhaps under $20K with fed/state credits, while rural, long distance folks can get the Ronster version! That said, I’d be in favor of the company getting as many vehicles as possible out as soon as possible to various parts of the country – the more exposure the better. Perhaps that simply means honoring those of us patient reservation holders in chronological order, regardless of options.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 6:10 am
Hi there, Lou. We’re wrestling with an intriguing marketing decision here. Go big and make a splash with a more expensive and exotic model that raises all boats or go for volume with a more basic model. I’d love to hear the perspective of folks on the forum who have a marketing background.
It seems the trend in the ICE automotive market is to lead with your top shelf model. Ford is doing it with the new Bronco. The EV market may follow its own rules, but here’s Lucid taking the “lead with your best” route like Ford.
In the end, I just want as many Apterae on the road as possible — after I take delivery of my own, of course!
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 6:55 am
Hi backatcha, Ray. Guessing we’re pretty much on same page with regard to getting as many Apterae out asap. Don’t think it’s either/or of fully loaded vs. most basic…I’m guessing those of us with reservations span the gamut from you to Ronster in terms of options. Get them ALL out there in order of reservations placed. Again, think the entirely unique nature of Aptera will be THE attraction that will draw in potential new buyers who will be happy to see they have terrific options in terms of price/range/solar/FWD-AWD/Off-Road. Please allow me to be right behind you in terms of delivery :-)!
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 1:33 pm
I’m concerned with with the “Loaded is best” perspective. With all of the logistics issues at play, the aforementioned perspective may endanger Aptera’s prospects to the point of negative return and collapse. I think it’s more than likely that unavailability one or more critical components for a loaded car would delay and/or choke production. Volume purchasing lowers unit cost. Component and sub-component manufacturers are much less likely to commit to producing at a low volume level for an indeterminate period of time.
I was a prospective purchaser of a loaded vehicle but as delivery timing lengthens, my options to buy an Aptera diminish. I am willing to order a less loaded model in order to stay in the game but there’s a point where time, value and increasing age cross into the no buy zone. (After all, I am in the ‘getting to be a crankier SOB as each day passes’ cohort.)
Should that happen, the moment that Aptera goes public is when my calculus changes! I’ll have enough of a profit to cash out of Aptera stock and buy a loaded Aptera. Or a 4 wheel BEV…
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 7:35 am
I still think we should each order whatever options fit for our own preferences. Personally, I can not see dragging around hundreds and hundreds of pounds for a capability I’d not use more than once or twice a year, if that. If that puts my 400 mile choice later in the build, I am also OK with that, because early(est) adopters will be most likely to get whatever birth defects crop up. This may be where stockholders and buyers have different viewpoints: maximize-cash-flow versus get-me-the-car-I-want.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 7:44 am
John, Suspect that stockholders and reservation holders (buyers) at this moment would reveal strongly overlapping Venn diagram. Back to notion of getting them out in order of reservations placed!
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 8:27 am
Alright, a recent walk has cleared my head on this discussion. Seems like what we’re really talking about is the viability of the Aptera endeavor. There seems to be agreement that traditional companies have benefitted from rollout of their most expensive models as that pads their bottom line, i.e. greater net profit giving them stronger financial footing if start-up and therefore also more pleasing to stockholders. But they’re operating at totally different volume level that Aptera.
If we look at Aptera, what will be difference in net profit between base and fully loaded model? List price difference approaches $20K if just considering 250 vs 1000 mile range. Knowing that battery is most expensive component of any EV, what is net profit difference between the two? Guessing it’s not significant enough to make or break Aptera endeavor in first couple of years given the low production output projected. If Aptera went with idea of building/promoting only the 1,000 mile vehicles first (additional options may/may not make as much of net profit difference), does that mean that they would leave early reservation holders for lower range models waiting in the wings for 2 or more years? IMHO, the negative PR and loss of those (Us!) backers would undoubtedly have more severe economic consequences to their bottom line.
I believe the solution is clever marketing, much along the lines of what is already out there – go ahead and promote fact that you can get model with 1,000 mile range – by far and away beating any other EV on the market. Also promote free solar charging, and all the other popular “gotcha” options of AWD 3.5 sec 0-60, off-road capabilities, Level 2 driving etc, etc. Let the market decide which options are most popular and build accordingly! In the meantime, honor all of us early adopters and fill our orders first, regardless!
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 8:26 am
I like mostly reservation order. This gets the high end and low end both in the media (afte paradigm editions) and is the most equitable. This also prevent perception from that the low base price might never be real. International or awd might need to delay a tad but hopefully not long.
Ps: where is my reservation number shown. Ordered a little over a month ago.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 9:07 am
Curtis, the reservation ID number will show up if you go into your account profile and click on “review orders” tab:
I asked Aptera two months ago for my position in the queue based on my reservation ID number. This is the response I got:
“This has been coming up frequently and we are sorry for any confusion caused. We do not have reservation numbers so to speak at this time, but rather invoice IDs. The order number is actually a random invoice ID (1745) and is not indicative of a position in line. Instead, we are tracking orders by the date on which they were placed. However, very early reservation holders, about the first several hundred, have numbers that are more indicative of a position in line since we began with a numbering system for those early reservations. We are rolling out a plan to better advise our reservation holders with an approximate position in the queue; however, this will likely become available early next year.”
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 10:22 am
Back on topic – According to Aptera there are 3 facilities – This main final assembly location, and two others for Betas/R&D, Solar, and Composite manufacturing. Two in Carlsbad and one in North San Diego.
This makes a lot of sense to me – Prebuild parts nearby then assemble them there. This is so exciting!!!
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 2:11 pm
Your point is well taken, Peter. Yes, I’ve hear of these separate facilities for the components you describe. That is not the same thing as having 3 self-contained manufacturing locations — each capable of independently producing X number of Apterae per month.
MemberNovember 5, 2021 at 8:10 pm
My end of the week, final take on the thread/subject.
I hear the clearest marketing messages (or HEADLINES) of “differentiation” and those are the ones we all do tend to repeat; ie. for good, “effective” reason.
This discussion or thread also relays personal interests of many whereas I am solely (or at least mostly 🤔) discussing from a business & marketing background & perspective based on, and supported by, the pattern and logic I’ve described.
The “Simple by Design” philosophy is NOT lost on any existing model configuration (colours & interiors incl.) with the main options essentially being:
– Larger battery module bolted in vs. a smaller one.
– Add a rear motor.
– Swap to solar hatch vs. the glass hatch.
– Swap for better speakers.
The other options are not in the actual assembly process like the tent etc. and as such are not model specific. These options or personalizations can be profitable too and they help to add cache, value, uniqueness and reason to buy. You want people to buy in to the lifestyle and possibilities. You want there to be an additional ecosystem of sorts “IF” you can.
The main hype, HEADLINES or differentiators pushed most are, and have been:
– Unique three-wheel design (LOVE, neutral &/or not); light weight & with superior aerodynamics.
. Mileage & efficiency 1,000mi (or 1,600km) range. Up to 40mi (or 65km) daily charge… ie “NO CHARGE” moniker application.
– Camping (& Doggie) options (non model config specific).
– Sports car performance of 3.5 seconds to 60mph.
So for the most part I think we can all agree on the above as being entrenched messages and that these characteristics provide differentiation in the marketplace; as was previously discussed in this thread and elsewhere.
In all promotional VIDEOS etc., price levels haven’t been the “lead” focus item, nor should they be IMHO; *value &/or passion is in the eye (and pocket) of the beholder, too.
Too much is too much for some and too little too little. I get that & it’s the reason for most comments & preferences stated here. All “personal” objectives and motivations are understood.
But I really haven’t seen the price levels being the hype necessarily being promoted (prices can & do change); a strategy which I agree with. What’s being focussed on most is what makes Aptera the best; it’s differentiation. While prices matters, don’t over focus down market at expense of the brand cache or what the model best represents at its best. *I’d suggest value exists at EACH level. Putting ones best foot forward is to also put one’s best hand in, too.
Stand out on its best foot & that’s its top line (marketed and hyped) features. Put the hand up high in the air and jump up and down to the world and marketplace to catch attention with a BUY ME!
No one else can say 1,000mi (1600km) range or that you can get ~40mi (65km) solar that ties to the adopted “NO Charge” moniker. Both of these things are it’s leading HEADLINE statements. It’s what we all remember most. Even if there are some not sold on the look or the three wheels, or whatever… the stats become compelling.
Don’t be a “me too” launch.
ENJOY your weekend everyone. Happy (Aptera) Dreams as well.