Tesla is the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles, or EVs. It is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. But the once-dominant lead is now under very serious pressure thanks to Chinese EV makers and a slew of well-known global auto brands.
Tesla currently only operates in select and fertile ground for electric vehicles, namely its headquarters in the US, Europe, China and some other parts of the Asia-Pacific region. Its manufacturing plant in Shanghai is its largest, supplying cars not only to the huge Chinese market but also to European countries. While China did help Tesla cement its place at the helm, both local and global rivals have accelerated over the past few years.
Chinese electric car company BYD is running what is still considered a marathon. According to reports, the company’s sales in the Asia-Pacific region in 2022 will leave Tesla behind. Other companies, such as SAIC and Great Wall Motors, are also tightening the proverbial pressure screw. Global players such as Volkswagen and Mercedes are also determined to have a say, given that China is the world’s largest market for cars and electric vehicles.
Volkswagen’s strategy is simple — offer compelling electric offerings at attractive prices. One big statement of intent was the Volkswagen ID.4, which starts at $39,000. Prices for the Tesla Model 3 start at $43,000. The Volkswagen Group also has clear electric intentions with the likes of Audi, Porsche and Skoda, each offering at least one all-electric model.
Then there are all-American players like Ford and General Motors, whose current offerings may be limited but have been posing ominously. For example, the Ford F-150 Lightning and GM Hummer EV have received strong responses in the US market, although they are not entirely mass-market vehicles.
The road ahead is just as exciting for customers as it is for the global electric vehicle industry. From more affordable EVs to an expansion of performance and luxury EVs, the options are expanding. Tesla has struggled to diversify its product line, and even the Cybertruck failed to crash from the lineup and onto public roads. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously talked about a new electric car that will be priced the same as the Model 3, but has since announced nothing concrete in the public domain. So even if Tesla hopes to hit the 20 million annual sales mark in the future – a tall order, product diversification and opening up new markets will still be key to ensuring that it not only keeps competitors out of the market, but also keeps it out of its dominance. area.
(with institutional input)
First published date: Feb 24, 2023 at 16:31 PM CST