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German automakers who once laughed off Elon Musk are now starting to worry

German automakers who once laughed off Elon Musk are now starting to worry

It wasn't long ago when the German car industry was still laughing out loud about Elon Musk and his Tesla Motors electric car company.

The proud makers of the world's top-selling luxury brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Porsche could not fathom how a small-time, loss-making upstart from California could ever compete with the giants of the industry that had a century and a half of experience and expertise. In November, a former Daimler chairman, Edzard Reuter, even called Tesla "a joke that can't be taken seriously compared to the great car companies of Germany" and dismissed Musk as a "pretender."

But the patronizing laughter came to a screeching...

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