For some time now, Volkswagen has insisted that it would – one day – outpace Tesla in the sale of EVs. Apparently, that day may come sooner than expected, as a report from Bloomberg Intelligence indicates that Volkswagen Group could become the leader in global EV sales by 2024. According to the analysis, Tesla and Volkswagen will compete for the top spot, and will leave the rest of the industry ‘”far behind”.
Perhaps Volkswagen’s momentum should come as no surprise; the automaker has ten different brands under its control, which vary in price and “prestige”, including Seat, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and others. This breadth in offerings and pricing gives Volkswagen a unique advantage over Tesla which, although often revered as the company-to-beat in the realm of EVs, has a limited line-up of models available.
The report notes that China and Europe will be especially influential markets for Volkswagen’s predicted growth. EVs are expected to account for 25 per cent of all car sales in China by 2025, and 20 per cent of all car sales in Europe. Notably, Volkswagen has a number of factories throughout Europe, and has already inched ahead of Tesla in EV sales in that region.
Comparatively, Tesla leads in EV sales in China, accounting for 13 per cent of EV sales in China in 2021, tied with China’s own BYD and behind Wuling. Considering how limited Tesla’s lineup is, the automaker may find itself vulnerable to disruption from its competitors as they come to market with new, attractive products. Additionally, Tesla’s Shanghai factory has reportedly been committed to manufacturing for export rather than for the local market.
Bloomberg Intelligence analysts also note that the introduction of the highly-anticipated Tesla Cybertruck may not have an enormous impact on sales. Although the Cybertruck concept has been undeniably well received among consumers, it will enter a relatively competitive market among other electric trucks from popular manufacturers like Ford, GM, and Stellantis. Due to its unique styling, Tesla’s Cybertruck also represents a more novel electric truck option, which may appeal more to Tesla devotees than new customers.
According to the Bloomberg analysis, Volkswagen and Tesla will each sell well over 2 million EVs in 2024, with China’s BYD expected to be a distant third, selling one million EVs in 2024.