Tesla Has “Near-Monopolistic” Opportunity In Electric Vehicle Market

4 months ago by Steven Loveday 69

Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3 – Serial Number 0001 (details)

Tesla’s monumental investment will prove legacy automakers’ tactics unfit when it comes to the imminent electric vehicle market.

A German analyst told Forbes that traditional automakers’ attempts to save money and cut costs, while Tesla is spending heavily toward the future, will give Tesla a “near-monopolistic opportunity” to gain market share.

Alexander Haissl of Hamburg, Germany-based Berenberg Bank, reported on Tesla and its closest ‘would-be’ rivals. He believes that none stand a chance, however, Daimler is furthest ahead, followed by Volkswagen Group. BMW appears indecisive as of late, and Ford and FCA don’t fare well. Even, General Motors, with its Tesla Model 3-competing Chevrolet Bolt, doesn’t really have its head in the game. Haissl wrote:

Bolt

Despite GM’s release of the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt ahead of the Tesla Model 3, Haissl discounts the automaker as a threat to Tesla in the future EV market.

“[Manufacturer] complacency about electric vehicle (EV) technology is worse than perceived. Despite more talk of developing EVs for mass-market adoption, a lack of real action and strategic commitments betray their underlying conviction, with no clear pathway to high-volume EV production before the mid-2020s.”

He told Forbes:

“Tesla will be given a near-monopolistic opportunity to gain market share and outcompete the incumbent automotive industry.”

“To contrast Tesla with even the most forward looking (manufacturers), we estimate Tesla will invest $32.7 billion over the next 5 years – roughly 40% more than Daimler and Volkswagen combined have committed for their EV projects.”

Haissl reminded that Tesla also has a substantial advantage in the EV battery market, due to its Gigafactory. This is not something that legacy automakers can make up overnight. Haissl continued:

“Tesla/Panasonic continue to exhibit a clear advantage on cell and pack technology compared to all peers, on chemistry, cooling and cost. Clear visibility about high-volume cell-sourcing strategies continue to elude traditional manufacturers, although we expect announcements for large facilities to eventually emerge to resolve the key issue of battery supply constraints.”

Despite Haissl’s sensible analysis, others don’t support this situation. Tesla has undergone years of scrutiny due to its heavy spending, lack of large-scale production, seemingly overrated market cap, and disruptive ideas and practices.

The Center of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany believes that battery shortages could initially hinder competing German automakers, but they will catch up. Likewise, The Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen warns that Tesla should watch out for German competitors.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla certainly has the name cachet and the early mover advantage to have a “near monopolistic” advantage in some future segments of the EV market, but not the whole in our opinion

 

The Berenberg Bank concluded:

“More drastic measures to create shareholder value may need to be considered – including, for example, spinning out their EV divisions to better focus on technology development and improve capital allocation. However, this would first require a transition to dedicated production lines rather than integrated production.”


For our money, we well can believe Tesla could have a “near-monopolistic” holding on a segment of the EV auto market (as it does already in the premium/luxury segment)…but not the largest, or the entire market by any means.

Why?  It is pretty simple, Tesla has already stated that the upcoming Model 3 is as “low” as the automaker wants to go down the affordability food chain, and with an estimated average selling price of $42,000 (as per CEO Elon Musk), that is a price higher than 90%+ of the cars on the road today.

Put another way, a Tesla is never going to lease for $49/month like the Fiat 500e occasionally does in California.

And the number of these “low end lease deals” is only gaining in volume (check out Charge!!!/EV-VIN’s pretty awesome listing of current deals here), while at the same time, the EVs themselves are improving – we are already starting to see the Chevrolet Bolt EV lease in the upper $200s/month.  No matter how much someone wants a Tesla, if they have a maximum budget of $250 a month for a new EV, they aren’t getting one.


The report also outlined other traditional automakers’ current strategies (via Forbes):

  • Mercedes-Benz – “High investments, but strategy for battery cell sourcing is not the most competitive”. Mercedes has announced total investment of 10 billion euros ($11.4 billion) in electric engineering and its EQ brand, and the same amount in battery capacity. This is the highest amongst the traditionals. Battery cell sourcing is not the most competitive.
  • Volkswagen – “Larger investments into battery capacity could be necessary”. To supply its electric fleet by 2025, VW needs about 150 gigawatt hours of battery capacity a year, and capacity planned so far isn’t enough. One major advantage for VW is its huge scale for better economics.
  • BMW – “risk of making the same mistake twice”. BMW’s i3 made the company a front-runner because it was designed from scratch to be electric. Its stance has almost been reversed, and it has slipped into wait and see mode. “Wait-and-see strategies can only be explained by hoping for better battery technologies, as it would allow existing platforms to be retrofitted with batteries that give significantly stronger range performance. This in turn could reduce the need to invest in developing dedicated platforms. This is risky if the EV market grows very quickly.” Tesla threatens its core market. BMW’s line-up looks thin with Mini-E in 2019 and X3 in 2020. “Overall, we see the risk that BMW is making the same mistake twice on EVs – being too early with the i3, and now basically giving up the strategy of dedicated models/platforms and production concepts”.
  • Renault – “Well positioned in mass market offering”. Renault Nissan was a first mover with the Zoe and Leaf, with good battery cell sourcing from LG Chem. But its batteries produce less energy than Tesla/Panasonic.
  • FCA – “EVs to remain niche”. Like Ford and General Motors EVs are likely to be just a niche.
  • Ford – “Investments focussed on plug-in hybrids, but no EV strategy”. The current EV, the Ford Focus electric, is not competitive on price versus range and it looks unlikely that Ford will catch up in the foreseeable future. Unless Ford materially increases its efforts on the pure EVs, the gap is expected to widen.
  • General Motors – “Chevy Bolt solid but no clear EV strategy”. The Bolt is not enough to retain market share once competitors launch new models. GM’s focus has been to keep costs and risks low, which explains “…why the battery pack is supplied by LG Chem and entire drive-train by LG Electronics. From our perspective GM does not have a clear strategy on EVs…..”

Source: Forbes

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69 responses to "Tesla Has “Near-Monopolistic” Opportunity In Electric Vehicle Market"

  1. Texas FFE says:

    Just the idea that Tesla in the electric vehicle market is near monopolistic makes me not want to buy a Tesla. Monopolies almost always lead to abuses. We are already seeing pricing abuses on teslas on vehicle service.

    Governments have a history of breaking up monopolies. When the Tesla monopolistic abuses becoming commonplace I fully expect the government to step in and break up Tesla’s monopoly. And I still think that Tessa supercharger network is going to be the first target when the governments start to break up teslas monopoly.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      BTW, I now have two Ford Focus Electrics sitting in my driveway, a 2013 model and a 2017 model. I wanted a Bolt EV but I got disgusted by pricing practices of GM dealers and financing especially on leases. I also have a Ford Fusion Energi Titanium sitting in my driveway.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        I guess I could call myself Texas Tri-FFE.

        1. Gasbag says:

          Only a small group of people know what trifefe means.

          1. Steven says:

            But do any of thesame know what covfefe means?

      2. Texas FFE says:

        Ford right now is offering a $10,500 credit on a lease of a 2017 FFE. The best GM would give me was a $3,500 credit on a Bolt EV. In Texas you have to order the 2017 FFE and it takes 3 months for delivery so I picked up a “certified” 2017 FFE with leather seats for less half the price of a Bolt EV out of state and had it shipped to Texas.

        1. La Frennia di Mamata says:

          IT’S THE OTHER WAY AROUND THE BIG COMPANIES STILL HAVE THE MONOPOLY WITH THE ICE CAR.. Tesla is trying to get it off the ground and everybody wants to destroy them before they get started..they are FAR from Monopolizing anything ..Tesla is ahead of the curve because the Big Boys are ignoring EV’s and by doing nothing or very little they think that the EV demand will die off and they can carry on Business as Usual …THE BIG BOYS ARE IN FOR A BIG SURPRISE!

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Ford right now is offering a $10,500 credit on a lease of a 2017 FFE.”

          Okay, we get that you really, really want to promote sales of the Ford FFE, and that you’re both afraid and angry at how Tesla is growing its share of the new car market by leaps and bounds every year, while Ford is sitting still.

          But basing your assertions on the idea that Tesla has a “near monopoly” on new car sales isn’t going to persuade anyone, Texas FFE.

          We’re not afraid of Tesla; it’s just you.

        3. Taser54 says:

          Comparing prices of a used FFE to a new Bolt seems silly, given the large range differences.

          Glad you enjoy it though.

          1. Texas FFE says:

            Used? My 2017 is Ford “certified” and only has 7,000 miles on it. The certification gave an extra 12 month/12,000 miles on the bumper to bumper and and extended the power train warranty to 7 years/70,000 miles. It’s definitely not some piece of junk I got out of a used car lot like you make it sound.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              A car with “only” 7000 miles on it certainly is a used car, whether you want to admit it or not. That car could not legally be sold as new.

              If I bought a car through Tesla’s CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) program, it would be “certified”, but it would also be a used car.

      3. Jacked Beanstalk says:

        Really? The Bolt is ten times the EV that those Fords are. And Ford reliability is, well, as the name says, Found On Roadside, Dead.

        1. Texas FFE says:

          Really? The FFE has a range of 115 miles and the Bolt has a range of 238 miles, the FFE has 150 hp and the Bolt EV has 200 hp, the FFE has 31 cubic feet of storage behind the front seats and the Bolt EV has 57 cubic feet of storage, the FFE charges at 50 kW and the Bolt EV charges at 80 kW but there aren’t any 80 kW charging stations, the FFE has a leather power seat option for $1100 and the Bolt EV has leather option that’s not powered for $4,000. Just where exactly is the Bolt EV ten times more car than the FFE?

        2. Texas FFE says:

          BTW, my 2013 has 50k miles on and not once has it been Found On Road Dead. The only time 2013 has been in the shop was when it got caught in a hail storm and for a few minor recalls.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      When someone asks “Are you on drugs?” in an internet post, they are generally being snarky, but in this case Texas FFE, it’s a serious question.

      Tesla’s share of the PEV (Plug-in EV) market last year in the USA was, according to InsideEVs’ “Scorecard” chart, 29.7%, and of course the percentage is lower in nearly all other countries. If that fits your definition of “monopoly” or even “near monopoly”, then your definition of the term is rather far from the one in the dictionaries.

      Furthermore, regulators would look at the entire market for new light vehicles, not just at the narrow segment of PEVs. Last year, the U.S. market was 17.5 million. Tesla’s tiny percentage is left as an exercise for the reader.

      Now, Texas FFE, I am going to be snarky when I ask: What is it that Tesla is doing which you think is or are unfair trade practices? Is it the way Tesla has offered to share its patents with anyone who wants them? Or is it perhaps how Tesla is fighting in the courts for the right to sell its cars on a level playing field in all these United States, not just some of them?

      I really have to wonder if you even know what the word “monopoly” means.

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/8c/db/ce/8cdbce9d1a2d2596baae50fe690b21de–the-three-stooges-the-stooges.jpg

      1. Texas FFE says:

        Thanks for your feedback, I will ignore it as always.

        1. La Frennia di Mamata says:

          IGNORE & STAY IGNORANT…….

          1. Texas FFE says:

            Just because I’m ignoring his comments doesn’t mean that I’m ignorant of his opinions,

          2. Texas FFE says:

            Besides, why should I waste my time responding to someone that’s so full of hate and self loathing and has nothing better to do with his life than to insult and try to antagonize people on the internet?

            1. Stimpacker says:

              PP’s comments and questions seem reasonable. Your response invoking hate is not.

              1. Texas FFE says:

                Really? He said he thought I was on drugs showing a total lack of respect for my opinions. I’ve been reading PPs comments for years and they always show a lack of respect for comments that don’t agree with his narrow minded point of view.

                Debating with PP is pointless because he is either unwilling or incapable of being reasonable. I didn’t even read his posts for a very long time because his post are typically specifically designed to invoke anger. I have recently decided to start reading his posts again to absorb his feedback and as an exercise in controlling my own emotions but I will not debate with him.

                1. ffbj says:

                  Heated arguments can sometimes lead to things being written that should not be, but when a person hound-dogs a poster and devalues their opinions by saying, more than once, that they are on drugs, it’s rude and inconsiderate behavior.
                  Now if he had said that about me, well… that’s a different story.

        2. iggy says:

          you are genius 😂😂😂

    3. Alonso Perez says:

      The notion that Tesla is a monopoly of any kind, or will be in the foreseeable future, is ludicrous. It is a tiny automaker. EV monopoly is not monopoly in the auto sector, which is Tesla’s market. It’s like saying Apple has a monopoly on A series ARM chips. It is the sole supplier of phones with such chips, but that’s merely an advantageous technology choice. It does not have a monopoly, or even a majority, of the cell phone market itself.
      Also, there is absolutely nothing Tesla is doing, or can do, to prevent other manufacturers from building out charger networks. Monopolistic behavior involves blocking others from competing, and Tesla is not doing that nor is it in a position to do that. Again, this is like saying Apple has a monopoly in Apple stores, something that has no meaning whatsoever.

      The term should have been “dominance”, not “monopoly”. Tesla is absolutely poised to dominate the EV segment of the auto market. To the extent that this segment grows, it will force other automakers to catch up. This is how the market works.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        What’s the title of this article? I was not the one that brought up monopoly but I agree with it. A monopoly is where a company can force you to make undesirable because of the lack competition and has has business practices in place to prevent competition, Tesla is definitely doing that.

        If you tell Tesla is not then please tell where are certified Tesla service centers not owned by Tesla and please tell me where are the Tesla supercharger stations not owned by Tesla.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          So according to your definition of “monopoly”, since only Scripto makes leads to fit the Scripto mechanical pencils I own, then Scripto has a monopoly on pencils.

          Got it.

          Are you on drugs? Seriously.

        2. Jason says:

          Actually, the title is about the opportunity to become a monopoly on the EV segment. Do I think this is likely? Not at all. There are so many car manufacturers, Tesla has “maybe” 50% of the EV market (and here I’m meaning BEV, not fake PHEV). Model 3 will certainly make a huge impact, even if only 25% of reservations convert into sales that’s about 100,000 vehicles.
          Personally, Texas FFE confirms my expectations: Ford fans are going to look for Ford EV’s (why else have you got 3 Ford of this nature? Leaf is an excellent, low cost alternative). BMW fans will stick with BMW EV. Just wait until Toyota actually start to make a compelling EV, it is the biggest manufacturer bar none, so all those loyal fans will get their Toyota EV. Case in point, my sister had a Toyota Echo which she replaced. I said “shop around, there are lots of great deals and models out there”. What did she buy? A Toyota Yaris, because she was used to the Toyota, thinks it is reliable, yadda yadda yadda.
          Another example is a regular poster called SparkEV, who obviously loves their Spark and sings it’s praises every opportunity. They might get a different EV, but I will not be surprised if they get a Bolt, because their experience helps them to have confidence in the GM product.
          So if you think Tesla will magically convert huge amounts of people from their tried and true, I think you are dreaming.

    4. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      It is true about monopoly, but Tesla makes below 0.1 million cars in 70 million market. It has no chance to reach and abuse any monopoly outside niche even if it wants badly. It simply has no capital to scale production to such level, as it is highly capital intense manufacturing business. It may push few more share sales, but equity markets will get sour soon in economic downturn, and profits from operations are beyond horizon, just losses.

      Classic disadvantage of the first mover – you waste all the money too early when technology isn’t ready yet while competitors look and laugh, and come later to crush you.

    5. Taylor S Marks says:

      Monopolistic practices are when you do something that prevents anyone from competing with you.

      IE, AT&T had a monopoly because AT&T households could only call other AT&T households. So there was no point in getting any other service provider, thus nobody could compete.

      Tesla isn’t doing anything like that. Tesla does have a monopoly, but only because established companies won’t commit to building EVs.

      Tesla’s Supercharger network isn’t a monopoly. They’ve said that any other automaker who makes a car which can receive that charge rate and will pay Tesla will have access to the network. But like I just said – no other company will take them up on it.

      The only monopolistic practices taking place that I see is the dealers in some states, IE, Michigan, where the dealers are colluding with politicians to prevent Tesla from being allowed to open their own stores in the states. I expect those monopolies to be toppled by 2020.

    6. JustWillimPDX says:

      The government will “break up Tesla’s monopoly”? Ridiculous. Tesla is doing nothing illegal, and thus “government” has no basis for “breaking it up”. On what grounds, and by what legal mechanism do you suppose such a thing is even possible?

      1. Texas FFE says:

        Standard Oil wasn’t doing anything “illegal” when the government broke it up in the 1920s. Bell Telephone wasn’t doing anything ‘illegal” when the government broke it up in the 1980s. TXU wasn’t doing anything “illegal” when the government broke it up in the 1990’s.

        All that has to happen for the government to break up a company is for the government to decide that the company’s business practices are counter productive of competition and not in the best interest of the public, There are plenty of arguments that Tesla business practices are are counter productive to competition and not in the best interest of the public, just look at all the lawsuits Tesla is fighting right now.

    7. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

      Musk has been saying “Go ahead automakers, compete with us! *Please!*” for longer than my youngest son has been alive.

      Tesla doesn’t want to crush its competition. It wants them to do the same thing. Hell, to do the same thing better. That would be a perfect world, one where all cars are electric and better and cheaper than a Tesla. One where their old *product* is crushed, not where the business is.

      1. La Frennia di Mamata says:

        I had no Idea that so many “DO NOT KNOW” the Meaning of such a simple word..Including and especially the Author , Unless he’s trying to ruffle some feathers , If that is the case, mission accomplished ! Nicely Done!

    8. Devin Serpa says:

      It’s not a monopoly if you don’t have to charge at a supercharger.

  2. James says:

    Woow. That company sold few cars to some wannabe world savers sponsored by poor tax payers and now some wannabe analyst thinks they will rule the world.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      Tesla has a higher market capitalization than most of the established auto manufacturers. It may just be an inflated value based on speculation but it’s still a threat.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I’m sorry you’re so afraid of Tesla. I take it your income depends on Ford?

        Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of EV advocates don’t see Tesla as a threat, but more of a promise.

        Go Tesla!

    2. Tech01x says:

      “That company sold few cars to some wannabe world savers sponsored by poor tax payers”

      You mean Ford, right? They received $5.9 billion in ATVM DOE loans. Another $15.9 billion in federal loan assistance (buying their commercial paper). Plus they also get the same benefit of the alternative fueling tax credit… $3,750 for each C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi, and $7,500 for each Focus Electric… that’s $385 million. They also get full advantage of the CARB ZEV credits at $5,000 each.

      If Ford sold more plug-ins, especially bigger battery cars, they’d have more racked up in buyer’s tax credits. But of course, that doesn’t go to the automaker… it goes to the buyer. Ford sold about 95,000 plug-ins but the fast majority are PHEVs with lower credit. Tesla sold 130,000 in the U.S, but all are large battery vehicles.

      Also, Ford buys their cells from LG’s plant in Holland, MI. That plant is subsidized to the tune of $250 million dollars of the $300 million dollar build cost, or almost 85%. Chrysler and GM also buy from this plant. Tesla is getting about $1 billion out of the $5-6 billion cost of the Gigafactory, or less than 20%. But… there is a big difference. Tesla’s getting that $1 billion over a very long period of time (most of it is over roughly 20 years). LG got a lot of the stimulus money up front or near the time of plant completion.

      ATVM loan: Tesla, $0.465 billion; Ford, $5.9 billion
      Loan assistance: Tesla, $0; Ford, $15.9 billion
      Plug-in tax credit: Tesla, $1 billion, Ford, $0.385 billion

      So Ford is subsidized at over $22 billion, and Tesla at $1.5 billion, but Tesla sells more EVs in the U.S.

    3. JustWillimPDX says:

      “Sponsored by poor tax payers”.

      Hogwash.

  3. Someone out there says:

    Didn’t you already do this story a couple of weeks back?

    Tesla don’t have any $32 billion to invest and won’t have for a long time. They can barely make ends meet as it is.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      Tesla has never had any trouble getting investors to pony up billions of dollars to buy more of Teslas already over priced stock. Whether Tesla will ever be a profitable company is a completely different question.

      1. Someone out there says:

        Yes but it gets more difficult every time, especially when the previously promised goals are still lacking.

  4. Spider-Dan says:

    This article is nonsense.

    So Daimler and VW – two automakers with some of the WORST EV offerings in the market – are “best positioned” to challenge Tesla.

    Meanwhile, Nissan (the leading seller outside of China) is behind them because… their battery technology is not as advanced as the Daimler/VW battery tech that’s probably coming in the future?

    And GM is lagging behind because Bolt is “not enough to retain market share once competitors launch new models”? I guess that means GM’s plans to never release any other EV (or ever update the Bolt!) are doomed to failure!

    This article is a joke. The irrational exuberance towards Daimler and VW almost makes me think this is some sort of pro-German bias.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “This article is a joke.”

      That’s my assessment, too. If one were to list all the clueless and/or utterly ridiculous statements in this article…

      Well, let’s just say it seems to be yet another article written from a stock manipulator’s investor’s viewpoint, one having little to do with Tesla’s actual performance as a manufacturer.

      Just one example from this “article” (if it deserves to be called that): “Tesla has undergone years of scrutiny due to its heavy spending, lack of large-scale production, seemingly overrated market cap, and disruptive ideas and practices.”

      Let’s break that down:

      1: “heavy spending”. Yeah, that’s what is required for rapidly growing production in a heavy industry company. How is Tesla doing what is required for growth a bad thing?

      2: “lack of large-scale production”. Tesla has been growing its production at the rate of roughly 50% per year for the past few years. Is this not fast enough for y’all? It’s certainly faster than every other auto maker of any size worth talking about! Just what is Tesla being criticized for, here? Not having a time machine with which to go back in time and found Tesla Motors earlier than 2003?

      3: “seemingly overrated market cap”. That’s perfectly true, and so what? That’s no reflection, neither good nor bad, of Tesla’s performance as a business. It’s just stock speculators going wild with the stock. We can be thankful that the inflated price of Tesla’s stocks helps the company borrow money at low interest, but otherwise it’s pretty irrelevant to whether or not Tesla is a sound, growing business. I find it amazing how many “financial guys” can’t seem to differentiate between the performance of TSLA, the stock, and Tesla Inc., the company.

      4: “disruptive ideas and practices”. Yeah, that’s how new market leaders arise during disruptive tech revolutions, both historically and now. Duh!

  5. Euro point of View says:

    I regret the majority of the insideevs unsers is not pro evs , but pro tesla ( coz they own Tsla shares for sure ) , and haters of almost all other evs brands .
    come on , be fair .

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Fair is promotion, then delivery.

    2. Jason says:

      Maybe just the people posting, the readers might be more numerous but not vocal. Personally, I love EV’s regardless of brand. There are some really interesting models due soon. Tesla has been so popular because it is long range and they have some well promoted cool tech. If Nissan Leaf had of been 200mi at the start and had Pro Pilot capability as standard, then I’m sure people would be gushing all over it. If just about every other model had a 3-5yr refresh and increased their range from 80mi to 200mi then everyone would have been gushing over them. But without exception, Tesla is the only brand that is 100% committed to EV’s and has shown significant improvement over the past 3-5yrs. 40kWh battery to 100kWh when others have gone from 18-24 to 30-42 (different models are in these ranges, but so far only Bolt is 60kWh and everything else has only reached the level Tesla started with).

      I might buy another Leaf, or I might buy a Tesla, or maybe iPace will surprise and be affordable or maybe Toyota will bring something out. Who knows, but when the time comes to change vehicles, I’ll evaluate them and get what I think is the best value for my situation (so far in Australia it has been very lean pickings).

  6. georgeS says:

    Seems to me GM is best poised to be in number 2 spot after Tesla. They already have developed all the power trains to a much more refined point than any of the others.

    So GM has the engineering expertise with already developed power trains.

    The only thing GM lacks is a commitment from management to go full bore on EV’s.

    1. Ocean Railroader says:

      GM’s biggest flaw is that the Chevy Bolt really doesn’t look as a good looking as the Tesla Model Three.

      I even had people tell me they wouldn’t get coughs dead in a Chevy Bolt.

      1. georgeS says:

        OR,
        That’s my point. Superior power train that could easily have been put into an attractive body.

    2. Taser54 says:

      GM has an entire electric platform designed. It’s well positioned to produce other BEVs. Now the business case must be made for profits.

      1. Jason says:

        That’s the risk, isn’t it? Invest in the EV and see how it goes. Tesla showed off their car and took reservations, based on that incredible result they pulled their plans forward by a year to be able to manufacture more vehicles.

        GM showed their vehicle, people said great, but there was no reservation system so how does GM gauge the market? So they put a nominal figure 35k sales and work with that. By that measure it will take a long time for them to develop their next EV because they need to show that profit. Nissan did basically the same thing.

        Just be bold, take the drive train and put a more stylish body on it. Plenty of models have the same chassis with different bodies, eg: Mazda/Ford had the 323/Laser range in the 80’s that had sedan, hatch back and wagon, all in the same chassis and drive train. They all sold well here. Just do the same thing with an EV please.

    3. Magnamundian says:

      Not from a German perspective, not in the EU. The whole EU prospect for the GM Bolt is cloudy as Opal (effectively their Euro division) was sold to Peugeot-Citroen.

      Don’t even get me started on how messy it gets for the UK where Vauxhall was an effective division of Opal…

  7. ffbj says:

    It mostly revolves around what you think or believe will happen in the coming decades.
    Tesla has a commanding lead and will continue to retain that lead, as the article indicates.

    The legacy auto makers dropped the ball, or more accurately failed to pick it up, and instead stood on the sidelines pointing out the flaws in Tesla’s strategy, as Musk and company advanced the ball down the field.

    Now they can only be also rans, or play for the bottom end which Tesla has never ventured into to. Not enough profit per vehicle.

    1. Gasbag says:

      I’m a big Tesla fan but even I have to call BS. The analyst obviously doesn’t understand the meaning of monopoly or monopolistic. Yes, Tesla should be able to sell all that they can build but the problem is that they just can’t build that many vehicles. Telsa will only do about 125K cars in 2017 and 350K in 2018. Tesla will have a minority share of both the PHEV and BEV sub-markets for years to come.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Well said.

        Tesla is trying very hard to ramp up production as quickly as possible, to grab as much of the market share while the PEV (Plug-in EV) market is wide open, but there are real-world constraints to growth. The EV revolution is a slow one, and it is very, very unlikely that Tesla can actually capture a monopoly of the market before other auto makers move in to take their own sizable portion of the market share.

        Tesla’s competition won’t come within the next couple of years, because it’s currently so far ahead of the others. But it will come, sooner or later; and it will come not only from legacy auto makers finally, reluctantly, moving to challenge Tesla, but also from new auto makers (Rivian? Lucid?) trying to follow Tesla’s path to success.

        1. ffbj says:

          Hardly convincing at all.

  8. Taylor S Marks says:

    Musk talked about the possibility of introducing a Model 4, starting around $20K-$25K (without incentives), sometime around 2021 last year.

    But he said he doesn’t think that’ll be necessary. He expects that the people who currently buy cars that cost under $30K will choose to hail autonomous cars (IE, Model 3) rather than buy a car of their own – so that market will shrink to become non-existent, and not worth pursuing.

    If he ends up being wrong and people choose to still buy lower end cars, I’m sure Tesla will have no problem introducing a Model 4. Maybe they’re still planning on such a car for poorer countries anyways.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Elon Musk says a lot of things, many of them aspirational, and some mutually contradictory. For example, if you look at what he has said at various times about the goal for Gigafactory 1 footprint and production when it’s finished, the numbers are all over the place.

      I think it’s a mistake to interpret Elon’s casual comments as set-in-stone future plans. Tesla is going to continue to react to circumstance and opportunity.

      As for the “We’re never gonna make a car less expensive than the Model 3” statements… Well, two things:

      1. Elon’s plan is to significantly lower the cost of making a M3 in future years, by eliminating human workers from the assembly line. So perhaps it’s not so much he doesn’t think Tesla ought to make a lower priced car; it seems that he thinks the Model 3 itself will become that lower priced car.

      2. Elon has said he may well leave Tesla motors in a few years, after the Model 3 ramp-up is well along. If so, then the new CEO may well re-think this idea that Tesla will never make a new model aimed at a lower price segment. At least, I hope so!

  9. Alan says:

    Is it really a wonder that the legacy automakers (and the most profitable) are dragging their heels somewhat, given the fact that the +90% of the market which can’t afford the current line up of EV’s, until battery prices come down far enough and energy efficiency improves a little they don’t feel the need to rush whilst still making huge profits on sales & servicing.

    It’s all about timing as far as they are concerned IMO, that time has not yet arrived and will not for another 3-5 years, even though most of us EV fans would like it to have happened already it hasn’t which is why we are only at around 1% of total market share worldwide.

  10. pjwood1 says:

    Tesla won’t get the “lower monopoly”, maybe 35-70k. Upper level offerings could still easily fade (Mission E / I-Pace), leaving them ~all EV’s >35k.

    Seeing lower segment EV “competition” is more obvious every day:
    -It firms up the “EVs are city cars” mantra
    -Continues the pattern of bank-rolling low-profit/loss compliance cars
    -Is the place to go, if you aren’t serious about highway charging
    -Is the place you’ll go, if you’re first laying out city charging
    -Is where EV + AV already manifest (OK, Uber had a Volvo, but think Google car, etc.)

    The auto sector isn’t a free market when so many can want a Tesla and, for some strange reason, no one else will sell one. Someone is being anti-competitive, and it isn’t Tesla (>20% Gross Margins). I don’t think lithium cell tech materially differentiates, nor do I believe insufficient batteries exist for at least some competition. What we have faith in arriving, could end up being tomorrow’s Pacifica Hybrid (production stoppage?).

    I invest in TSLA, and WKHS, more because of what I expect others won’t do, than any advantage these companies have. Of course, advantages help.

  11. Terawatt says:

    I think the analyst revealed his level of EV expertise when he shared that Tesla’s batteries “produce more energy”.

    Why does InsideEVs decide to promote such an obviously flawed analysis?

    Because we click. Damn the attention economy.

  12. orinoco says:

    The biggest obstacle for all Tesla “competitors”: they do not really want to sell BEVs! From this point of view Nissan-Renault is closest to Tesla, but BEVs are still “strategic investement” for them. They want to be prepared, but don’t want to start the revolution. And the rest including VW, Daimler, BMW, GM, Ford – just forget it.
    And that’s why Tesla will have some kind of monopolistic position on BEVs, nothing else.

  13. Jacked Beanstalk says:

    The biggest issue for Tesla remains reliability. If the Model 3, like the Model S, requires frequent replacement of the drive system, then it will give Tesla a reputation that will take many years to improve. General reliability is also a concern, and Tesla’s insistence on unneccessary complexity is going to be a reliability challenge. Those funky door handles on the Model 3? Yeah those will fail often and be very expensive to replace. Don’t even get me started on those Falcon Wing Doors which are an engineering nightmare from a reliability standpoint.

  14. Four Electrics says:

    This article makes no sense. It is just another Tesla long looking to pump the stock.

  15. BillT says:

    M3 Reliability is my biggest concern for Tesla as well. Cool and sexy designs will only overcome this to a point. Just ask Alfa Romeo. I am cautiously optimistic M3 reliability will at least match German premium competitors if not Lexus based on the fact that I think Tesla has learned from overreaching mechanically with the MX. Hopefully they will limit the wiz bang stuff to that which can be fixed via a SW update.

    As for Tesla becoming a monopoly, I think that is a huge stretch given they haven’t shown interest in building the form follows function appliance type cars that actually dominate the market. I can see them dominating the premium sedan and CUV segment but they don’t seem interested in building a mainstream sedan or CUV where price,function and reliability are the dominant shopping points. If sexy was the main thing that sold cars Mazda 3s and 6s would greatly outsell their competitors.

    Now if Tesla decided to sell their battery cells or packs they could probably get a near monopoly on that.

  16. fotomoto says:

    Yet not one mention of the 800 lb gorilla in the room: Toyota.

    1. fotomoto says:

      And Nissan-Renault too.

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      That’s because they’re fed up with the gorilla trying to shift the topic to hydrogen so everybody’s trying to ignore them. Rather like a large proportion of automotive buyers lately.

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