Tesla is losing its lead as Ford’s Mustang Mach-E steals EV sales

  • Tesla’s share of the US electric car market fell from 81% to 69% in February.
  • The Mustang Mach-E was almost the only reason for Tesla’s market share losses.
  • Ford’s new electric car has seen great success, winning awards and Wall Street approval.
  • Visit the Insider Business section for more stories.

Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E appears to be cutting off Tesla’s comfortable lead in the electric vehicle market early on.

While Ford sold just 3,739 of the new SUVs in February, Tesla’s share of the U.S. electric car market fell to 69% in the same month, down from 81% a year earlier, according to a Morgan report. Stanley. Additionally, the Mustang accounted for nearly all of Tesla’s market share losses, the bank said.

Despite new competition, for which Ford is far from the only source, Morgan Stanley’s analysis found that Tesla’s US sales continue to rise, and that more car buyers continue to consider buying a vehicle. electric. Sales of electric vehicles in the US increased 34% in February from a year earlier, while sales of traditional cars with an internal combustion engine fell 5.4%.

A fifth of the Mustang Mach-E sold in February were in California, Ford said, a key market for the industry. In 2019, the state accounted for nearly half of Tesla’s Model 3 sales.

So far, the Mach-E appears to be a success. The car was awarded the SUV of the Year by the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Award in January, and early reviewers, including other Wall Street analysts, also gave it positive ratings. JPMorgan said the vehicle could challenge Tesla as Ford has more history and brand recognition.

“We are not arguing that one vehicle is necessarily superior to the other (many consumers will continue to prefer the Model Y’s increased availability of semi-autonomous driving features and the Tesla brand, while others will be drawn to the style and availability of a federal tax credit of $ 7,500), “they said.

On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk appeared to complement Ford’s role in the electric car market.

“Tesla and Ford are the only US automakers that haven’t gone bankrupt among thousands of auto startups,” he tweeted in response to a journalist post about the high-risk nature of the auto industry. “Prototypes are easy, production is difficult, and having positive cash flow is unbearable.”

Some experts doubt that Tesla can stay on top forever

Tesla’s first investor and former board member Steve Westly told CNBC that competition was invading the electric car company from all sides.

“Tesla is not going to be king of the hill in electricity forever,” he told CNBC on Tuesday.

Other auto companies have started to crowd the market as well, from electric car startups like Lucid Motors, Fisker and Rivian to more established auto companies like General Motors and Volkswagen.

In February, a JD Power survey of new car buyers found that many people looking to buy electric cars were considering companies outside of Tesla.

“One could argue that this indicates that while Tesla’s appeal is clearly formidable, it is not absolute and could be replaced by a worthy alternative,” Stewart Stropp, JD Power’s senior director of automotive retail, said in the survey.

Despite doubts about the future of Tesla’s role in the electric vehicle market, Tesla shares have risen more than 650% last year in an investor vote of confidence. The company’s revenue increased in 2020 from $ 24.6 billion to $ 31.5 billion, but fell short of Wall Street’s fourth-quarter projections by 20%.

The company works to compete in the market. The automaker plans to design a $ 25,000 car and has expanded its manufacturing plants to China, building a Shanghai Gigafactory.

China is likely to remain a key market for Tesla and the industry at large. In 2020, Tesla doubled its revenue there.

“China is the lynchpin of growth for the electric vehicle market,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told customers on Thursday. “We believe China could see staggering demand in 2021 and 2022 across the board, with Tesla’s giant Giga 3 footprint being a huge competitive advantage.”

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