The Volkswagen Group, one of the largest automotive groups, has initiated electrification of basically all its brands (including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and SEAT), but so far it is not able to catch Tesla in the all-electric segment.

The global sales results for the 2021 year just came out for the Volkswagen Group (see here), while Tesla released its preliminary results earlier this month.

The difference reveals that the pursuit and significant expansion in the BEV segment are not enough for Volkswagen Group to reduce the gap to Tesla, which simply is also growing very fast.

We asked whether Volkswagen Group is really catching up to Tesla back when Q3 sales results were released. There was no evidence at the time. Let's take a look at the numbers for Q4 and 2021.

Q4 2021

Tesla's massive sales record in the fourth quarter of 308,600 was nearly two times higher than Volkswagen Group's result of 159,800.

Tesla also achieved a higher year-over-year growth rate, but we must remember that the Volkswagen Group reported significant semiconductor shortages, which prevented it from producing and selling more cars.

Anyway, the net difference is close to 150,000 - the highest ever.

BEV sales results in Q4:

  • Tesla: 308,600 (up 71% year-over-year)
  • Volkswagen Group: 159,800 (up 47.2% year-over-year) or 52% of Tesla's result
  • Difference: 148,800 (up 106% from 72,129)

Tesla deliveries vs Volkswagen Group BEV sales - Q4 2021



The 2021 sales results reveal that Volkswagen Group has expanded its all-electric vehicle sales year-over-year, more than Tesla - by almost 96%. Tesla achieved a growth rate of over 87%.

That would be a small sign of catching up, but because of the difference in volume (Tesla sold over two times more BEVs), the gap between the two has expanded to almost half a million cars.

BEV sales results in 2021:

  • Tesla: 936,172 (up 87.4% year-over-year)
  • Volkswagen Group: 452,900 (up 95.5% year-over-year)
    or 48% of Tesla's result (vs 46% in 2020)
  • Difference: 483,272 (up 80% from 268,047)

Not only that. Industry analyst, Matthias Schmidt (Schmidt Automotive Research), points out that the Volkswagen Group actually missed its original target of over 500,000, set for the year... 2020.


Well, in 2022 it should be easy to reach and exceed 500,000, but by that time Tesla might be even further away, especially since the company will get a boost in the form of two new electric vehicle plants.

What are your thoughts? Will Volkswagen Group catch up with Tesla at some point or has Tesla achieved escape velocity already?

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