New competitors are also on the way. This year, General Motors is scheduled to begin manufacturing electric versions of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox sport utility vehicles.
Tesla has also struggled in China, its largest market, where a local manufacturer, BYD, is now the No. 1 electric vehicle brand. Tesla recently cut prices in China and reported total global sales for 2022 that were below analysts’ expectations.
While Tesla is still celebrated for the advanced technologies it packs into its cars and its sleek design, Tesla has been slow to expand its lineup. It only offers four vehicles, and two are luxury models that are out of reach for most mainstream consumers. She last introduced a car in 2020 when the Model Y went into production.
Since 2019, Tesla has promised to launch a pickup truck called the Cybertruck, but has delayed its production multiple times. The company now hopes to start this later this year. The Cybertruck has an angular, futuristic design and is likely to be sold as a luxury vehicle, which may limit its appeal. In the past, Mr. Musk has expressed a desire to produce an electric car that can sell for around $25,000, but he has not presented any formal plans.
In December, Tesla began shipping a small number of battery-powered tractor-trailers to PepsiCo, its first customer.
“We see demand issues remaining until Tesla is able to roll out a lower-priced offering at volume, which may not be until 2025,” Toni Sacconaghi, a Bernstein analyst, said in a report this month.
By lowering the prices of its current models, Tesla shows that it’s willing to concede some profit in order to increase sales volume. The company typically boasts gross profit margins of 26 percent — more than double that of some competing automakers — a factor that prompted investors to raise its shares, making it the world’s most valuable auto company.
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