8.10MTI英译汉练习:德国汽车巨头遭遇特斯拉冲击波

吃书鸟 2017-08-10
Germany’s carmakers feel the Tesla shock
德国汽车巨头遭遇特斯拉冲击波

There is plenty of demand for the new Tesla 3; the question is whether Elon Musk can produce them all. BMW and Daimler have the converse problem: they are good at making diesel cars but who wants one?

新的特斯拉(Tesla) Model 3有大量的需求;问题在于埃隆•马斯克(Elon Musk)能否满足全部需求。宝马(BMW)和戴姆勒(Daimler)的问题正好相反:它们都擅长制造柴油车,但谁想要柴油车呢?

After decades of success, dominating the global luxury market with impeccably designed engineering marvels, Germany’s carmakers face their iPhone moment. Like BlackBerry and Nokia before, they are confronted with a US company selling an elegant device based on superior technology.

在数十年成功利用完美设计的工程奇迹主导全球豪车市场之后,德国汽车制造商正面临它们的“iPhone时刻”。与以前的黑莓(BlackBerry)和诺基亚(Nokia)一样,它们遇到了一家销售兼具卓越技术与雅致外观的设备的美国公司。

BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen executives will gather in Berlin on Wednesday with ministers at...
Germany’s carmakers feel the Tesla shock
德国汽车巨头遭遇特斯拉冲击波

There is plenty of demand for the new Tesla 3; the question is whether Elon Musk can produce them all. BMW and Daimler have the converse problem: they are good at making diesel cars but who wants one?

新的特斯拉(Tesla) Model 3有大量的需求;问题在于埃隆•马斯克(Elon Musk)能否满足全部需求。宝马(BMW)和戴姆勒(Daimler)的问题正好相反:它们都擅长制造柴油车,但谁想要柴油车呢?

After decades of success, dominating the global luxury market with impeccably designed engineering marvels, Germany’s carmakers face their iPhone moment. Like BlackBerry and Nokia before, they are confronted with a US company selling an elegant device based on superior technology.

在数十年成功利用完美设计的工程奇迹主导全球豪车市场之后,德国汽车制造商正面临它们的“iPhone时刻”。与以前的黑莓(BlackBerry)和诺基亚(Nokia)一样,它们遇到了一家销售兼具卓越技术与雅致外观的设备的美国公司。

BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen executives will gather in Berlin on Wednesday with ministers at a “diesel summit” to discuss how to mitigate the technology disaster that the industry has brought on itself. They might as well not bother: diesel is dying and the only question is how long it will take.

宝马、戴姆勒和大众汽车(Volkswagen)的高管们最近在柏林与部长们共同出席“柴油峰会”,讨论如何减轻汽车行业自身带来的技术灾难。他们也可能不用操心了:柴油车正在消亡,唯一的问题是它们多久才会消亡。

The $35,000 Tesla 3 is seizing the halo from Germany’s iconic industry. The US industry never offered any real competition for its luxury driving machines: a Cadillac is no Mercedes. But Mr Musk has eagerly taken on the challenge that Detroit long ducked: he has more than 400,000 pre-orders for his creation, which went into production last month across the bay from Silicon Valley.

售价3.5万美元的特斯拉Model 3抢走了德国标志性行业的光环。美国汽车业在豪车领域从未构成真正的竞争:凯迪拉克(Cadillac)不是梅赛德斯(Mercedes)。但马斯克渴望接受底特律长期逃避的挑战:已经有逾40万人预订了他的发明,特斯拉Model 3上月在硅谷对面的海湾开始生产。

Tesla’s founder is a showman who often over-promises, but the fates are with him. He could not have picked a better moment to start selling his first volume car. Not only is VW still embroiled in a scandal over its illegal use of software to disguise vehicle diesel emissions, but the top five German carmakers are under investigation by antitrust authorities over whether they formed a buying cartel.

特斯拉的创始人往往过度承诺,喜欢出风头,但命运站在了他的一边。他最近开始销售首款量产汽车,没有比现在更好的时机了——不仅大众仍深陷非法使用软件掩盖柴油车尾气排放的丑闻当中,而且反垄断机构还就德国5大汽车制造商是否组建采购联盟而展开调查。

The cartel investigation, revealed by Der Spiegel magazine, speaks to Germany’s consensual culture of co-operation among companies, suppliers, research institutes and governments. While it has produced enviable results, as has Japan’s keiretsu tradition of corporate alliances, standards-setting may have degenerated into collusion.

《明镜周刊》(Der Spiegel)披露了德国汽车5巨头遭受调查的事件,这表明了德国企业、供应商、研究机构和政府之间合作的共识文化。尽管它产生了令人羡慕的结果,正如日本企业的“经连体系”(keiretsu)传统一样,但标准制定可能沦落为勾结。

The question is why they gathered at conference tables in the first place. The carmakers may have broken the law by, for example, reducing the size of the chemical tanks they used to limit nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines, although BMW denies it. But why was there any need to agree on common components?

问题在于,他们最初为何聚集在会议桌前?比如,汽车制造商们可能缩减用来限制柴油发动机一氧化氮排放的化学罐的尺寸,从而违反了法律,尽管宝马否认这么做。但为什么需要就普通部件达成一致?

The answer is that making a car with a combustion engine is a fiendishly complex task and carmakers depend on intricate networks of suppliers. That is especially true when they need to wrap technology around diesel engines to make the emissions less noxious. Anything that makes this simpler, and by extension cheaper, is a godsend to the conventional carmaker.

答案是,制造拥有内燃发动机的汽车是一项极其复杂的任务,汽车制造商依赖错综复杂的供应商网络。在他们需要运用技术减轻柴油发动机排放污染的时候,情况尤其如此。任何简化从而减少费用的方法对传统汽车制造商来说都是天赐之喜。

Considered in this light, Tesla has a crucial advantage over them. An electric car is easier to make than one with a combustion engine because it has many fewer parts: Mr Musk says that a Tesla 3 has between 6,000 and 7,000, while Goldman Sachs estimates that a traditional vehicle has 30,000.

从这个角度考虑,特斯拉有着根本优势。电动车比内燃机车更容易制造,因为它的部件少得多:马斯克表示,特斯拉Model 3有6000至7000个部件,而高盛(Goldman Sachs)估计,传统汽车有3万个部件。

Mr Musk would thus have fewer reasons to join a parts cartel, even if he wanted to. Tesla is still learning how to produce cars at scale — its output has been hampered by battery shortages — and he predicts that it faces “six months of manufacturing hell” to ramp up production to meet his Tesla 3 orders. His assembly operation, though, is inherently cleaner and simpler.

马斯克因此没有多少理由加入部件采购联盟,即便他想要加入。特斯拉仍在学习如何规模生产汽车——汽车产量因电池短缺而受阻——马斯克预计,特斯拉面临提升产量来满足特斯拉Model 3订单的“6个月的制造难题”。然而,他的组装业务在本质上更加清洁和简单。

He has tried to make it simpler still by making the most important part himself — Tesla has built a vast battery factory in Nevada with Panasonic and plans others. He wants to take integration further by getting customers to fit solar roofs to charge in-home batteries that can fuel the electric cars.

马斯克还努力让组装更加简单,亲自制造最重要的部件——特斯拉在内华达州和松下(Panasonic)建造了庞大的电池工厂,并计划在其他地方建造电池工厂。他希望进一步整合,让客户安装太阳能屋顶以便为屋内的电动车电池充电。

Tesla’s strategy of being more integrated than other carmakers has echoes of Apple, which makes its own mobile chips and designs its own software. Another echo is the way both exploited a change in technology — for Tesla, the change from combustion engines to electric, and for Apple, the evolution from 2G to mobile broadband at the time of the 2007 iPhone launch.

特斯拉比其他汽车制造商更加一体化的战略与苹果如出一辙,后者研制自己的手机芯片并设计了自己的软件。另一个相似之处是两家公司利用技术变革的方式——对特斯拉来说,变革是从内燃机转向电动,对苹果来说,变革是在2007年iPhone推出之际从2G转向移动宽带。

Carmakers could prove more adaptable than Nokia and BlackBerry were to technology disruption. They have accelerated their electric-vehicle initiatives, such as General Motors’ Chevrolet Bolt car. But the Tesla 3 is designed to lure buyers of luxury cars, not mass brands such as Chevrolet, and BMW, Audi and Daimler are now in a painfully vulnerable condition.

事实可能证明,汽车制造商比诺基亚和黑莓更能适应技术变革。它们加快了研发电动车的步伐,比如通用汽车(General Motors)推出了雪佛兰Bolt(Chevrolet Bolt)。但特斯拉Model 3的设计宗旨是吸引豪车、而不是雪佛兰等大众品牌的买主。宝马、奥迪(Audi)和戴姆勒现在处于痛苦的弱势局面。

More than half the cars sold in western Europe before the VW crisis had diesel engines and diesel’s share of luxury cars with fuel-thirsty engines was even higher. As European cities clamp down on pollution, and companies whose cars emit illegal levels of pollutants in real-world driving face fines, sales are falling. Germany’s diesel summit can do precious little to alter that.

在大众柴油车尾气排放丑闻爆发前,西欧销售的汽车中逾一半是柴油车,柴油车在高耗油的豪车中的比例甚至更高。随着欧洲各城市打击污染,以及那些在现实的驾车过程中排放水平超标的企业面临罚款,销售开始下降。德国的“柴油峰会”对改变这种局面完全无济于事。

German carmakers will turn to other engines, including the plug-in hybrid and electric engines that BMW expects to comprise between 15 and 25 per cent of its sales by 2025. But their halo has slipped and in Tesla they face a competitor without such legal liabilities and technological baggage.

德国汽车制造商将会寻求其他发动机,包括插电式混合发动机和电力发动机,宝马预计到2025年这种车占到其销售的15%-25%。但它们的光环已经褪色,而且它们的竞争对手特斯拉没有此类法律责任和技术包袱。

Life is getting more complex for the bosses of BMW and Daimler as it gets simpler for Mr Musk. In this industry, simplicity is worth a lot.

对宝马和戴姆勒的老板们来说,生活正变得越来越复杂,而对马斯克来说,生活正变得越来越简单。在这一行业,简单非常有价值。



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