(MENAFN- Asia Times) In 2019, Tesla was in the happy position of being a high-volume, premium-priced leader in the global electric vehicle (EV) market. Deliveries of 367,500 cars represented 50% growth over 2018.
That included 92,550 of the mid-sized Model 3 cars and 19,450 of the larger Model S and X vehicles during the fourth quarter, implying strong future growth and producing annual revenue of US$$24.5 billion .
The same year, Tesla announced the Cybertruck. This new futuristic-looking vehicle represented the company's first move into light/pickup trucks . Deliveries were initially planned for 2021.
Yet the Cybertruck has been beset with delays over things like the weight, making it difficult to achieve an adequate battery range, and the surging cost of bulletproof glass – it will now only be available as an add-on. Deliveries finally begin on November 30, meaning 2024 will be the first full production year.
Tesla has simultaneously been managing a difficult transition. Formerly a disruptive entrant rewriting the rules, it is now an incumbent trying to protect sales volumes and profit margins. A hectic growth strategy has seen a new gigafactory in Shanghai that started output in early 2020, plus two others near Berlin, Germany and Austin, Texas, which both opened in 2022.
In 2023, Tesla expects to sell 1.8 million vehicles overall, roughly double 2021 sales. But things can change very quickly in this industry, and Tesla faces different challenges in its three main markets of China, Europe and the US. The big question is whether the Cybertruck can resolve them.
Tesla unit sales 2016-23
The market breakdown
In China, Tesla faces multiple competitors, a looming overcapacity in battery production, and changing government rules on incentives and purchase taxes. It has consequently been engaging in“dynamic pricing”, slashing the cost of Model 3s and Model Ys.
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