Which Automakers Can Seriously Challenge Tesla?Feb 19, 2020
automakersare placing big bets on the electric vehicle market. But so far, the E.V. The US market appears to belong to one automaker, Tesla, of the 246,000 new EVs sold in the United States in 2019. Nearly 194,000 were Tesla of one type or another. That's more than three times the amount sold by all other manufacturers combined. The Tesla Model Three alone sold nearly 160,000 units. No other vehicle from any other manufacturer came close. The next biggest seller was the Chevrolet Bolt,
whichsold approximately 16,400 units, a fraction of the volume of the Model Three. It is said that investing in Tesla is not for the faint of heart.
But as the automaker has gained control over production of its model, three are introducing other models and expanding their presence in China. Its shares have surged, reaching new highs above $900 in February 2020. For years, experts have warned of a tsunami of competitors coming for the pioneering electric car brand starting in just a few months and really accelerating the growth rate. next year and into 2018. It's just going to be plagued with long-range electric car competition. Still, Tesla. A few vehicles have been released so far, but sales indicate that none of them have managed to make a significant dent in Tesla's share of the E.V. market.
So far, the Tesla killers haven't really killed Tesla at all, but more rivals are coming, and they're being launched by big
automakersthat have been making cars for a long time. So who are they and how many chances do they have? First of all, it helps to see what they're up against. Analysts and industry watchers debate the reasons why Tesla is so dominant in electric vehicles. There are some clear ones on paper. First of all, Teslas have some of the best ranges available of any electric car on the market. And Tesla's biggest seller, the Model 3, starts at around $39,000, not far from the average price of a new vehicle in the US.
Teslas have also won praise for their innovative design, both on the exterior and inside. But there is criticism of Tesla, as well as a relatively small and young automaker. Tesla has been plagued by manufacturing difficulties, leaving hopeful buyers waiting a long time for reserved vehicles. Veteran competitors have even used their manufacturing expertise as a selling point by marketing their own electric models, telling customers they won't have to wait for a newly introduced vehicle. Tesla customers have also complained of problems getting parts and service. Tesla's success seems to defy the odds in other ways. Of the three models it currently sells, they are traditional sedans in a market that has increasingly favored sport utility vehicles since the US economy emerged from the Great Recession.
Their only SUV available so far. The Model X has a very high-end price. But Tesla fans, loyalists, and prospective buyers have so far been undaunted. The company seems to attract a lot of publicity and attention. Many industry observers say that much of what sells Tesla cars is Tesla itself, as well as its charismatic if often controversial leader, Elon Musk. Despite complaints about long waits for service, mass production, setbacks and criticism of the company's construction, quality buyers still seem to want to be a part of Tesla's vision. Renowned industry critic Consumer Reports has praised and criticized Tesla vehicles, but says the brand seems to have something special that no one else has been able to capture.
Well, I think that's exactly it. I mean, I think there's a lot of interest in Tesla more because of the fact that they're looking at an electric car. So the fact that Tesla is the innovator is state of the art. That is what is so attractive to so many people. So the question is,
whichbrands can compete with Tesla? What are they intended for? What are potential Tesla buyers buying? At the high end where Tesla tends to play? There are cars like the Audi E Tron, the Jaguar I-Pace and the BMW i3. Porsche began delivering its long-awaited Taycan to American customers in December.
It is expected to follow with at least one other model, an electric version of its Macan crossover. Mainstream electric vehicles include the Chevrolet Bolt, the Honda Clarity Electric, a couple of Hyundai cars, the Kia Niro, the long-selling Nissan Leaf and Leaf Plus, and the Volkswagen E-Golf. There are several others slated for launch starting in 2020 from major brands, especially in the premium segments and near the top end of the core market where Tesla currently competes. Ford introduced its Mustang Mach E. in November 2019. The company hopes to begin deliveries in late 2020 and said it has already reached its order limit for a first-edition version of the vehicle.
Despite what some have called a muted response to its E-Tron, Audi is planning more E-Tron variants, including a midsize SUV called the Q4 E-Tron, a performance GT, and a sporty version. BMW is expected to launch the i4, a sportier car for its electric i brand, while the i3 was more of a small city car that even drew some derision from BMW purists. The i4 comes with 523 horsepower. BMW's Mini Cooper brand will supply the city car expected in early 2020. Mercedes Benz parent company Daimler said in December it would delay the US launch of its EQC electric crossover until 2021. 2020, too a more sedan-like car called the EQS is expected.
Smaller luxury brands are also betting on electric vehicles in the near future. Jaguar is planning an electric version of its XJ sedan and Volvo is working on an electric XC40 compact SUV, as well as a high-performance crossover through its sister brand Polestar. Automotive giant Volkswagen is betting on electric vehicles in addition to its high-end products. Under Porsche, Audi and other brands, the German giant is planning several Volkswagen-brand electric vehicles, including a crossover called the ID Crozz and a revival of the legendary VW bus called the ID Buzz. Then there are the smaller brands and startups like Bollinger, Lordstown, Lucid, and the troubled Faraday Future.
Many, many such vehicles are planned, including several in a very American segment. Electric vehicle manufacturers have so far barely touched pickup trucks. Tesla unveiled perhaps its most ambitious and polarizing design yet in 2019. The cybertruck puts the company, at least technically, in full competition with truck segment heavyweights like Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors. . Truck sales in the US are dominated by Detroit. Ford has said it plans to launch an all-electric version of its best-selling full-size F-Series pickup. General Motors plans to revive its once-powerful Hummer brand as an all-electric vehicle. GM said in late January 2020 that it will spend $2.2 billion at its Detroit Hamtramck assembly plant to produce several all-electric trucks and SUVs to build a new generation of electric trucks, SUVs and other electric vehicles, starting late next year. . ,.
Buzzed about Startup Review is working on its own electric van. The R1 T is slated for launch alongside a similarly sized sport utility vehicle in 2020. Rivian promises 400 miles of range on a single charge, a fording depth of more than three feet, and 0-60 acceleration in three seconds. . Ford invested $500 million in the startup in 2019 and plans to launch an SUV under its Lincoln luxury badge that is based on technology developed by Rivian. Meanwhile, Tesla's cyber truck design seems to baffle some industry watchers. Some investors have called it weird, really weird. Musk defended the truck's polarizing design on a conference call after the automaker posted fourth-quarter 2019 earnings, per the Cyber Track.
A few months ago, we revealed the cyber truck that went viral and tried to build a product that would be superior in every way without any preconceived ideas about what such a product should look like. So, really just from the point of view of what's the baddest futuristic armored personnel carrier that, you know, kicks any truck's butt? Basically, that's the goal. And we wanted to look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie set in the future. On the same call, Musk said Tesla's demand exceeds what the company can produce in three to four years. We have never really seen such a level of demand on this.
We have never seen anything like it. Basically. I think we will make as many as we can sell for many years to come. So sell as many as we can make. It's going to be pretty crazy. So, and I think actually the product is better than people think, even though they don't even have enough information to realize, just how great it is. it's great Industry watchers say the move to trucks is another way automakers are trying to make the best of a tough situation. Both investor enthusiasm for Tesla and mounting regulatory pressure are forcing legacy automakers to come up with some kind of electric vehicle plan.
But it's commonly thought that, so far, EVs remain a hard sell for many buyers. Electric vehicles remain a small portion of the US auto market and are highly concentrated in states like California, where high fuel prices, government policies and incentives, and perhaps a dash of culture all help boost EV sales. electric vehicles. Demand for electric vehicles in the US market has been quite modest over the years. Consider that it took an entire human generation for 44 alternative energy models combined to achieve half the market share of the Ford F-Series pickup. The best-selling pickup truck in the United States.
Around the world, it appears that healthier EV markets are largely supported by government intervention. The world's largest auto market, China is also the largest market for electric vehicles. Tesla stunned the auto world. As the first foreign car company to get permission to manufacture in the country without partnering with a Chinese firm, electric vehicle sales were booming in China until the government cut subsidies for battery electric vehicles. In June 2019, sales began to drop that next July. Just a few weeks later, while the first electric and hybrid vehicles were sedans and compact cars, the newest models are increasingly sport utility vehicles and trucks, areas of the automotive market that have grown enormously in demand over the past decade.
There are also vehicles for which customers are willing to pay more than passenger cars of similar size. That combination suggests automakers will have an easier time driving them off the lot and absorbing the high costs of electric vehicle technology. But they will still have to find a way to
challengethe incredible brand power and cult following that has managed to follow Tesla.
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