Just outside Berlin is the first European Tesla factory, so it doesn’t seem strange that at Ifa, the largest consumer electronics fair in the Old Continent, there is a Tesla stand. And in fact, here it is, with its 250 square meters, in a pavilion that is not the most central.
Ifa in Berlin: everything you need to know about Europe’s largest electronics fair
by our correspondent Bruno Ruffilli
Streets of the East
Except that there are no cars on display, but air conditioners, blenders, televisions, smart scales, toasters and other appliances. Because the Tesla present at the Ifa is not American but Serbian, with headquarters in Belgrade; for now it distributes its products in about fifteen European countries, although the executives say they are working to expand the company’s presence in other markets.
In Berlin, however, there is nothing that comes close to the world of mobility, even if there are many engines. For example in washing machines or robot vacuum cleaners, with “premium laser navigation”, which clean even when no one is at home. “There is nothing complicated about our appliances,” the company explains on its website. “Technology is made to be simple and useful, and we are here to help you.” Tesla’s challenge is demanding: it is making its debut in a very crowded and not so profitable market, that of mid-range appliances. But, with names like Samsung, Lg and Haier increasingly committed to the top segments of the market, who knows that new spaces will not open up.
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Judging by the products on display, Tesla does not seem to offer great news from the point of view of design or functions, also because it relies on Chinese manufacturers, like all competitors in this price range. Yet Tesla is the latest heir of a historic brand, born in Czechoslovakia in 1921 as Elektra. With its current name it has existed since 1946, well before Elon Musk was born, so probably the American billionaire will not be able to claim rights; the logo, however, seems vaguely similar to that of the electric car manufacturer, and perhaps this is not a coincidence.
Until 1990, Tesla televisions were destined for the market of countries controlled by the USSR; after the fall of the Berlin Wall the company went through a thousand vicissitudes and is now a brand of Comtrade Distribution, distributor for South Eastern Europe of brands such as Lenovo, Intel, HP, LG Western Digital HP, and many others.
At the Ifa you can also see several monitors for PCs, laptops and a few TVs, such as the 55-inch Q55K925BUS, Qled 4K, which promises “more than a billion colors, an impressive sound system and unlimited intelligent options”. 4K screen, good quality considering the approximately 600 euros in the price list (but no Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos), and can also be used only to play music when it is turned off. The screen can show two sources at the same time: on one half you can play games, on the other you can watch TV. The operating system is webOS (the same as LG), and some other technology is taken from the Korean company, such as the motion sensor in the remote control and ThinQ AI voice controls.
An honorable mention, among the dozens of products on display, for the mini purifier to hang around the neck: smaller than a pack of cigarettes, with rounded shapes and pastel colors, it should allow you to breathe clean air, trapping dust, allergens and various pollutants thanks to a technology that makes use of negative ions. It can be found the same on Alibaba for about ten dollars.