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by Claribelle Deveza November 18, 2019

The Tesla Model 3 won another prominent fan in business scholar Masanao Kawakami. Japanese magazine President Style interviewed Kawakami during his first test drive of the Model 3. He compared the differences between Tesla’s newest vehicles and older models in the interview. Kawakami also talked a little bit about Tesla as a business and what makes Elon Musk’s company stand out.

Kawakami approached the Model 3 test drive with some trepidation. He had known the Tesla’s sedan had a simplistic design, and it didn’t have all the traditional design cues it predecessors did, which worried Kawakami. He wasn’t sure if the new design was warranted and how it would affect the overall feel of the Model 3.

However, Masanao Kawakami seemed genuinely impressed by the Model 3. He told President Style that Tesla’s latest addition to its all-electric fleet felt different from the Model S and Model X, but it was the right kind of different. Kawakami noted that the Model S and Model X didn’t feel much different from each other, so it was surprising that the Model 3 felt significantly different from its predecessors.

He stated that the Model 3 seemed like a more mature version of the Model S in a way, despite it being in a lower price range. Tesla’s sedan felt like a rebirth for Tesla’s all-electric vehicles, said Masanao Kawakami. He seemed to specifically be impressed by the compact car’s performance, which he noted was impressive for a car in a smaller category than the flagship Model S.

He observed that Model 3’s interior seemed to evolve, including the steering wheel’s texture, the back seat’s shape, and its singular infotainment system. Kawakami was a bit apprehensive about the lone panel in the middle of the car because he was so used to his Model S’s two screens. However, he was pleasantly surprised when the single screen felt natural to him during his Model 3 test drive.

When asked about the Model 3 performance and functionality, Masanao Kawakami called the all-electric sedan “the most ideal model of Tesla.” He argued that all Teslas never stay the same because their software is continually being updated. As an example, he stated that his present Model S is very different from the time he bought it. He concluded the Model 3 would be the same. Kawakami reasoned that between the constant upgrades through on-the-air updated and the Model 3’s simplistic, but sophisticated design, Tesla’s most affordable sedan is Elon Musk’s best vehicle to date.

When it comes to business, Masanao Kawakami thinks the release of the Model 3 may have revealed Tesla’s future direction as an all-electric car maker. He said the Model 3 combined the best parts of the Model S and Model X while eliminating their unnecessary functions. The result was an all-electric vehicle with more than ample range, and that was perfect for day-to-day transportation.

Masanao Kawakami bought his first Tesla, a Model S, to see if everything he heard about the company and its vehicles were true. He had lived in a rural area in Japan without a car for about 8 years without a car before buying a Model S. He didn’t really need or want a car, but Tesla’s business model and CEO Elon Musk’s vision provoked Kawakami’s curiosity. Since getting behind the wheel of his Model S, Kawakami has never looked back. 

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