Tesla’s dominance in the EV market is fading — and all hinges on the Cybertruck – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

Businessman, musician / former Full Stack Developer

DAVID RAUDALES UK

Tesla’s dominance in the EV market is fading — and all hinges on the Cybertruck

Lots of question marks remain about Elon Musk’s polarizing Cybertruck.

Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

The Cybertruck arrives as Tesla is losing ground to competitors.Tesla needs the Cybertruck to claw back market share from other brands.After years of little-to-no competition, Tesla’s EV dominance is being tested.

Tesla is losing ground in the electric-vehicle market as competition heats up, raising the stakes for the launch of the long-awaited Cybertruck.

Investors and customers have been clamoring for Tesla’s Cybertruck since it was first revealed in 2019, pointing to the futuristic-looking truck as a turning point for Elon Musk’s electric car company. Four years later, the Cybertruck finally arrives in an increasingly crowded EV market and, for the first time, as a late-arriver to its electric truck segment.

Even as total EV sales in the US hit a record high in the third quarter, Tesla’s share fell to a record low of 50%, according to Cox Automotive.

Though Tesla still holds 56.5% of the market year-to-date, that’s significantly down from its 65.4% last year, 68.2% in 2021, and a whopping 79.4% in 2020, per Experian data.

While Tesla enjoyed years of dominance with little-to-no competition from legacy automakers, it’s clear the firm is starting to lose ground in the face of a more crowded EV market.

Big names like Ford, GM, and Volkswagen have raced to introduce more plug-in models and shore up their EV production lines in the last few years, gobbling up market share from the EV pioneer and driving overall sales of electrics to record levels. Still, all of these brands are fighting over a smaller share of the pie while Tesla remains far and away the top seller of electric cars at half of the market.

It’s not even close. The brands following Tesla in US EV segment share year-to-date are Chevrolet at 5.7%, Ford at 5.3%, Hyundai at 4.7%, and Rivian at 4.2%, according to Cox.

The Cybertruck is more important than ever

The Cybertruck is coming at a time when Musk’s company is making a variety of previously unprecedented moves to boost sales volumes, including slashing prices, spending more on marketing, and offering dealer-like incentives for timely purchases.

Tesla’s first foray into the lucrative truck market is supposed to hit consumer driveways any day now, and it couldn’t be coming at a better time.

Tesla started the year with bloated inventory and a list of problems that looked a lot like issues the Silicon Valley EV company’s legacy startups have faced for years. Musk has managed to turn these problems into advantages at nearly every turn, but long-standing issues like stale designs and spotty quality will begin to catch up as more competition hits the market.

“The long-promised Cybertruck may reverse the downward trend,” Cox analysts said, “although competition from Ford, Rivian and Chevrolet will likely impact Tesla’s electric pickup volume potential.”

Tesla’s aging lineup is in desperate need of a shot to the arm, and the unique-looking Cybertruck certainly does that, industry analysts have said. The risk is that the Cybertruck is so atypical that it ends up being a smaller, more niche status symbol than a driver of sales volume.

“If the Cybertruck becomes just another Tesla model that sells in the 50,000-unit range,” Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions, told Insider, “there may be cracks in the foundation at Tesla.”

Read the original article on Business Insider