Tesla aspires to minimize all conceivable costs, although this may provoke reactions among some of its customers, including those in the UK, Japan or Australia.
Tesla has announced that the new Model S and Model X will no longer be offered with the steering wheel on the right for economic reasons. It should be noted, however, that Tesla has implemented this initiative for its lowest-selling models. We won’t see this applied to the Model 3 and Model Y.
This decision might seem counterintuitive, given that many countries — including the UK, Japan, Australia, Cyprus, India, Hong Kong, Ireland and Indonesia — have traffic regulations that favor driving on the left. However, it is precisely in these countries that the new Tesla models, the Model S and the Modle X, will be sold with the steering wheel on the left, just like in France, China or the United States.
For those interested in Tesla in these left-hand traffic countries, however, the decision means some adjustments in their daily life. For example, driving through a car park in England or at a toll station in Japan with a vehicle where the driver is seated on the “wrong” side can be somewhat tricky.
It is in this context that Tesla has revealed its solution, which shows great ingenuity: a grab arm as a very special accessory for buyers in countries with left-hand traffic.
The grab arm, which acts as an extension of the driver’s arm, can be used to grab a parking ticket at a parking meter or place an order at a drive-thru. It’s a bold and practical idea which, although tinged with humor, responds to a real problem.
It is true that this initiative may seem funny, but it perfectly illustrates Tesla’s ability to transform a constraint into an opportunity. We look forward to seeing how this move will be received by Tesla drivers in left-hand traffic countries, and whether other automakers follow this bold, offbeat trend. Who knows, maybe in the future we will see more cars with mechanical arms in left-hand driving countries. In any case, one thing is certain: Tesla will never cease to amaze us.
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