It’s a race for electric dominance, and Tesla is outpacing the competition. As global automakers scramble to make their mark in the US electric vehicle (EV) market, Tesla’s towering sales figures reveal it’s not just in the lead—it’s setting the pace.
The Electric Struggle for Others
The recent move by Ford Motor to stall its ambitious $3.5 billion battery plant in Michigan shines a light on a growing concern: most of Tesla’s competitors are finding themselves in low-profit, small-scale segments. A deep dive into the U.S. EV sales data from the first half of 2023 shows that only a handful of vehicles, notably Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3, are selling in numbers sizable enough to sustain a full-fledged assembly plant, as per a Reuters analysis.
Tesla’s towering sales stats speak for themselves. “Tesla sold 325,291 vehicles in the United States from January to June,” dwarfing figures from its competitors. The distant runner-up? General Motors’ Chevrolet brand, with its Bolt EV, which sold a mere 34,943 units.
All four of Tesla’s model offerings secured spots in the top 12. Notably, the Model Y and Model 3 snagged the top two places with astonishing sales of 200,000 and 160,000, respectively.
To put this into perspective, Chevrolet’s Bolt raked in 35,000, and Ford’s Mustang Mach E garnered 13,600 sales. These numbers aren’t even close to filling a standard assembly plant, which to be lucrative, typically needs to function at 80% of its capacity or more.
Tesla Dominates A Divided EV Market
While EV sales, which also include plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, grabbed a 8.9% share of the U.S. market in the first half of 2023—a decent jump from the previous year—the pie was split among a staggering 103 different models, as indicated by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
With such division, it’s no wonder companies like Ford are rethinking their investment strategies. In a shocking announcement, Ford anticipated an annual loss of $4.5 billion on its EV division—half more than its initial projections—and stated a slowdown in its EV production.
Cox Automotive, in a recent presentation, acknowledged that while Tesla did lose some of its US EV market share this year due to rising competitors, it still held a dominating two-thirds of all EV sales. The closest competitor? None had over 10%.
The Future of EV Pricing
One of the drivers behind the boost in EV sales could be the dropping prices, a trend primarily steered by Tesla. Their strategy? Using impressive profit margins to slash prices and increase sales. According to Cox, average EV prices dwindled to $53,376 in July 2023, a significant drop from nearly $70,000 the previous year.
As the landscape of electric vehicles evolves, Tesla’s unwavering grip on the market sets a precedent. While other brands are left grappling for their piece of the pie, Tesla continues its electric drive forward.