Can GM Really 'Catch' Tesla By 2021 With No EVs On Sale Today?

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Posted on EVANNEX on November 02, 2021 by Charles Morris

For some time, it’s been plain that the legacy automakers are behind Tesla in terms of technology—the usual estimate is about five years—and that the trendsetter’s technical superiority is reflected in its dominant share of the small-but-growing EV market. Obviously, Big Auto is not pleased with being lapped by the brash Californian upstart.

General Motors Chair Mary Barra recently told CNBC that her company can “absolutely” catch Tesla in US EV sales by 2025. GM says it’s going to launch some 30 new EV models by 2025, and Ms. Barra believes this avalanche of new models will be enough to bury the current EV leader.

“I am very comfortable, because when people get into these vehicles, they are just wowed,” Barra told CNBC. “So we will be rolling them out and we’re going to just keep working until we have No. 1 market share in EVs.”

It’s true that Tesla will soon be facing real competition for the first time in its existence—e-pickups from Ford and Rivian, luxury sedans from Lucid, a nifty crossover from VW, cheap electric transportation from Chinese brands—and most analysts expect the California carmaker’s commanding market share to erode. IHS Markit expects Tesla’s US EV market share to fall from 79% in 2020 to 56% in 2021, and further predicts that Tesla might have as little as 20% of the market by 2025.

Make no mistake, GM’s electric ambition is a good thing—healthy, or even cutthroat, competition is what drives progress. But there are several reasons to be skeptical that GM will be able to catapult to the No. 1 position in a mere four years.

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