Does anyone really want to bet against Tesla, though?
"Tesla's been dominant as a brand in the past five years, but clearly that can't last," says Pete Kelly, managing director of analysis firm LMC. That quote is part of a report from Automotive News on LMC's analysis that predicts Volkswagen Group will overtake Tesla as the largest producer of electric vehicles in the world by 2025.
Over the past five years, nobody has made the right move by betting against Tesla. Still, it seems inevitable that the major automakers will sooner or later step in and take over once electric vehicle sales reach a tipping point. LMC expects Tesla's global EV market share to shrink from 20 percent in 2020 to around 10 percent in 2025.
Kelly says that Ford, Toyota, GM and Mercedes EV sales and market share will surge as well. However, he believes Volkswagen will win out first due to its "onslaught" of new electric vehicles. Indeed, Volkswagen has come out strong with its EVs, all based around the German brand's Modular Electric-Drive Toolkit (MEB). The first vehicle was the ID.3 compact hatchback, which Volkswagen promptly sold 54,000 units of in Europe in the second half of 2020. However, Volkswagen doesn't currently have plans to bring it to the US and we have to make do with the ID.4 for now. Tesla sold 85,000 Model 3s in Europe but was beaten by Renault's Zoe EV. That paints a deteriorating picture for Tesla, but it's worth considering that the California-based company already has a full range of vehicles selling worldwide. Tesla does still have a huge lead and is building up production fast.
Volkswagen Group plans on building a total of 26 million electric vehicles by 2025, including Volkswagen brand's ID range, Audi's e-tron range, and Porsche models starting with the Taycan. The Taycan came out strong in 2020 by meeting its target of 20,000 sales while Audi sold over 40,000 e-tron models.
It's certainly a fascinating analysis, but we're still hesitant to bet against Tesla at this point. If anyone wants to compete with Tesla, they're going to have to ramp up fast and get their cars onto the world stage, not just Europe. Then they're going to have to compete on price while becoming profitable; otherwise, selling EVs will eat into company profits. Tesla has also just hit profitability on its cars, while Mercedes has just said it aims for profitability by the end of the decade.