Tesla – yesterday’s giant on the way to a niche existence

E-mobility
Tesla – yesterday’s giant on the way to a niche existence

Model S on a at the Essen Motor Show 2019.

© Roland Weihrauch / Picture Alliance

Tesla’s stock prices skyrocket, but the cars are no longer as unique as they used to be. A whole armada of new models want a part of the electronics market.

For a long time, Tesla was almost synonymous with electric cars. The competition only had to offer waiver models the size of a small car, if at all, while Tesla had a luxury sedan with sufficient range. Tesla has since expanded its portfolio. With the Model 3 you are financially in the upper middle class. But all around the world has not stopped. Tesla still has a special image, but the hard unique selling point, the range, now others have too.

The flood of competitors

If there was previously the Model S and nothing else, today Tesla vehicles are beset by a whole armada of new e-models. Volkswagen has brought painful competitors to the start with its two electric cars ID.3 and ID.4. Compared to the Porsche Taycan variants, it is noticeable that the Model S has been around for a few years. Audi was able to leave Tesla behind with its E-Tron models in several countries. Premium brand Mercedes is launching two electric entry-level models, EQA and EQB, which compete with Tesla’s Model 3 and Y. Both Mercedes are available as sedans and SUVs. The list goes on and on almost indefinitely.

Tesla does not have anything comparable to BMW’s electric cross-over iX in its range. And Audi will hit the Model S with the E-Tron GT and the Q4 E-Tron. Large corporations such as Stellantis, General Motors and Ford are unleashing entire fleets of electric vehicles at their customers. The highly dangerous new electric brands from China are still limited to the home market, but there is also the Hyundai group. In addition to the brands Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, Ioniq, a pure electric brand, will soon be launched. “With Ioniq, we are seeking a paradigm shift in how our future electric vehicles will be and how our customers will experience them,” said Wonhong Cho, Hyundai Motor Company’s global chief marketing officer. “By going beyond conventional thinking, we are becoming individualized for our customers Offer experiences with our electric vehicles that match a digitally networked and environmentally friendly lifestyle. ” The Ioniq 5, an electric cross-over, is a bang. With its 800 volt charging system, it can fill up with a range of 100 kilometers in five minutes.

In short: it took a long time for the established manufacturers to accept the e-challenges, but now Tesla is no longer the only top dog. And the pursuers are to be taken substantially seriously, and the flops at the start cannot hide that.

Short supply at Tesla

Opposite this fleet is Tesla with a very manageable number of models. Not all of which are equally attractive. The most exciting vehicle is the Model 3. The price was recently reduced to 39,900 euros. With all-wheel drive, better equipment and greater range, it only starts at 49,900 euros. The closely related Model Y, on the other hand, is not doing as well in Europe as expected. Model X could not really assert itself in any market and the vehicle at the top – Model S – is now aging. In the home market, the expectations of the Tesla pick-up are high, in Europe – like all pick-ups – it will only play an exotic role

Read: “The problem of the cybertruck – that is why electric cars are unsuitable as towing vehicles”

No volume models

What Tesla really lacks are vehicles that round off the bottom line. Entry-level models below the 30,000 euro threshold bring the large sales volumes and visibility on the streets. The economy Tesla is announced, but when will it actually be available? A whole new situation for Elon Musk to chase the market. (Read: “Elon Musk announces the cheap Tesla for 21,000 euros”) It’s not just about the price, but also about the size. Tesla only offers vehicles the size of a mid-size sedan and larger. Despite the emission-free drive, these are not the vehicles for the city of the future or the urban single of today. Another drawback: With the exception of the truck and pick-up, Tesla has no commercial vehicles in its range.

What are the consequences? A brand doesn’t have to cover every segment. But the formula “E-car equals Tesla” is no longer correct today. Small cars and delivery vehicles will dominate the statistics and make Tesla a niche provider in the upper vehicle class. But there it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the distance to the competitors. If that’s even possible. The models announced by challengers like Nio outclass the previous Tesla models in terms of both sensors and battery technology (read: Tesla rival Nio shows the ET7 – the first car with a revolutionary solid-state battery).

Is the business model right?

At the same time, Tesla’s unique business model now has to prove itself. The classic car manufacturers have only a small vertical range of manufacture, the majority of the “car” is contributed by suppliers. Tesla, on the other hand, has a different approach, especially the critical components electronics, software and batteries come from in-house. Now it remains to be seen whether this vision, which allows a lot of control, can cope with the competition from the global supplier landscape, from whose range the other brands put together their e-cars.

Tesla should also be suspicious of the rumors about the Apple car. Accordingly, Apple will go the opposite way: Central components will come from Apple, but the actual car will be built by a partner. Hyundai is also being discussed here.

There is also another problem: In the last few decades, cars have become more and more standardized. They looked different, but shared technology and components. The large numbers depressed prices. If this cost effect also applies to the topic of e-cars, it will be difficult for a company that wants to do everything itself, but is not represented in the vehicle segments with the high volumes.

Elon Musk and Tesla, on the other hand, have been prophesied an imminent end for years, and so far they have mastered all challenges.

Also read:

Tesla rival Nio shows the ET7 – the first car with a revolutionary solid-state battery

Elon Musk announces the cheap Tesla for 21,000 euros

The problem of the cybertruck – that is why electric cars are unsuitable as towing vehicles

Tesla crash: owner desperate, nobody is allowed to dispose of the wreck

With Pressinform

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