Tesla models still top US market despite Musk Twitter fuss
While founder and CEO Elon Musk’s unpredictable handling of Twitter forced Tesla stock into a precipitous decline, the automaker’s models remained popular for most of 2022, according to Cox Automotive’s Kelley Blue Book.
For the first nine months of 2022, it reported that four of the six best-selling electric cars were Teslas. Topping the charts were the Tesla Model Y, with 191,451 units sold, and the Model 3, with 156,357 units. The Ford Mustang Mach-E finished in third place with 28,089 units.
“With all the negative headlines surrounding Tesla and its increasingly controversial CEO Elon Musk in recent weeks, it’s easy to forget that the company’s cars are still wildly popular,” data journalist Felix wrote on Tuesday. Richter on Statista.
“While it’s too early to tell whether Musk’s Twitter takeover and the turmoil that accompanied it will have a significant negative impact on demand for Tesla cars,” he continued, “his stance current as the manufacturer of the most popular electric cars in the United States United States and in many parts of the world is clear.
Power of the first engine
In the EV space, Tesla has been hugely popular, and it remains so, observed Brent Gruber, executive director of Global Automotive at JD Power, a consumer research, data and analytics firm based in Troy, Michigan.
Citing data from a December JDP survey, Gruber noted that among buyers looking to buy a vehicle in the next 12 months, four in 10 who are “very” or “somewhat” likely to buy an EV were considering the Tesla brand. “It’s right after Chevrolet,” Gruber told TechNewsWorld.
“However,” he continued, “the percentage of those likely EV buyers considering Tesla is down five percentage points from November.”
Tesla still benefits from being a frontrunner in the electric vehicle market, said Chris Jones, chief analyst at Canalys, a global market research firm.
“There was very little competition, and there still isn’t a lot of competition,” Jones told TechNewsWorld.
“Tesla also had a status appeal that the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt, the BMW i3 just didn’t have at the time,” he added.
Another attractive feature for early customers, he continued, was Tesla’s over-the-air software updates. “It’s only now that some of its competitors can do that,” he said. “So Tesla was a decade ahead of software updates and the ability to improve the vehicle as it aged.”
Being a “pure play” electric car company operating at scale is another advantage Tesla has in the market – in addition to being the only maker of electric vehicles with a charging network, added Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst. of the Enderle group, a consulting service. company in Bend, Oregon.
“Other automakers are ramping up their EVs but have encountered supply issues as they ramp up volumes due to the pandemic, war and other supply issues,” Enderle told TechNewsWorld.
Graphic credit: Statista
Tesla’s charging network is an important part of its offering, said Mike Ramsey, vice president and analyst for automotive and smart mobility at Gartner. “Their charging network is a fundamental differentiator between them and other brands selling electric vehicles,” he told TechNewsWorld.
Gruber noted that vehicle charging is one of Tesla’s notable advantages over competitors. In JDP’s 2022 charging studies, Tesla received awards for highest satisfaction with Level 2 permanently mounted home chargers, Level 2 public charging and DC fast charging.
In the public charging study, Gruber observed that the Tesla charging network’s wide availability, ease of use – especially with the payment/account process – and network reliability helped the network perform well. .
He added that one of the most notable metrics for Tesla in the home charging study was also ease of use.
bumpy road ahead
While 2022 seems to have been a good year for Tesla sales, storm clouds could be looming on the horizon. “Musk’s Twitter escapades, coupled with his shift to the political right, have alienated the typical left-leaning Tesla buyer, hurting sales and forcing discounts and other practices to move vehicles,” Enderle asserted.
“Our local Tesla dealership appears to be neck-deep in overstock due to slowing sales, which suggests Tesla’s numbers may be down or overstated,” he said.
“Given Tesla sells in its stores, there is no third-party validation of its sales numbers, and they likely overstated for a while to support rapidly falling valuations,” he said. Explain.
“As FTX has shown,” he continued, “corporate oversight is almost non-existent, which calls into question much of what is reported by every public company, especially those under stress. high like Tesla and Twitter.”
Competition is also intensifying. “Buyers have a growing choice of electric vehicles to choose from,” Gruber said.
“The number of products coming from OEMs is growing at a rapid rate,” he continued. “These products are now filling voids in popular segments and with brands with high loyalty rates, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning and Toyota bZ4X.”
“Competition is increasing, and we see that in our data,” he added.
Ramsey agreed that competition will be a future challenge for Tesla. “They paved the way for startups like Rivian and Lucid,” he said. “These guys are going to get stronger and stronger.”
“Meanwhile, traditional automakers are increasingly adding electric vehicles to their lineups that will be much more affordable than what Tesla is offering,” he observed.
“New competitors like Lucid and Rivian are causing Tesla pain,” Enderle added. Anecdotally, he noted that two of his neighbors now have Rivians, and whoever owns a Tesla is considering a Rivian.
“Also,” he continued, “better electric vehicle solutions from various automakers will put more pressure on the company, but the company’s biggest problem is Musk, and fixing him has gotten better.” proved to be problematic.”
“He forced Tesla to offer incentives to sell cars, which led to a catastrophic drop in Tesla’s valuation and Musk’s net worth,” he claimed. “It also increased the number of potential Tesla buyers considering alternatives.”
Ramsey, however, pointed out that the Tesla CEO has been a mix for the company for a long time. “Since the dawn of business, Elon Musk has been vital to Tesla’s success and the root of some of its problems,” he said. “He’s gone through periods where he’s been more of a detriment than a benefit, but that goes in cycles.”