Tesla: how Elon Musk brought his electric vehicles to the top of sales

Every quarter, sales of electric vehicles don’t stop climbing. According to a study just published by German analyst Matthias Schmidt, in the first three months of the year, 546,000 electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold in Western Europe. That’s more than one in five new vehicles! On the podium of the most purchased rechargeable models, we will see the Model S in first place and the Model Y in second place. A whole box for Elon Musk’s Tesla. Even better, combined with all the engines, the Model 3 was the best-selling car in Europe in March, ahead of the Peugeot 208 and Model Y, which were better than the Volkswagen Golf. A real Copernican revolution.

Historical manufacturers who have long laughed at the comparison of Teslas to improved lawnmowers should now be laughing … hilarious. “The performance is remarkable, even if it does qualify because it comes at a time when the new market has fallen sharply (-20% compared to March 2021), pointed out Jean-Pierre Corniou, specialist in the sector. automotive at SIA Partners. The uncertainties associated with the international context, between the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have prompted many consumers to turn to the second-hand market to limit their costs. ” Today’s Texan manufacturer is also better off because it has been able to anticipate the shortage of semiconductors, by building solid stocks and adapting to its software, when most of its competitors have to repeatedly stop their production lines due to lack of electronic chips. .

Nearly a million Teslas were sold in 2021

This does not detract from Tesla’s performance. While the brand will soon be off the road in 2018 – and its boss is on fire – faced with the difficult ramping up of the Model 3, it sold nearly a million of its small electric cars in 2021 (+ 87% vs. in 2020). More importantly, after years of heavy losses, Tesla posted a profit of 5.5 billion dollars, for a turnover of 54 billion. Or an operating margin of 12.1% in 2021, which climbed to 19% in the first quarter of 2022. Enough to advance Tesla among the most profitable automobile manufacturers on the planet. The exceptional profitability can be explained both by the extremely advanced integration (the manufacturer goes as far as making its own seats) and the direct sale of its vehicles, on the Internet and in its own dealer network.

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A simple appetizer if we believe the billionaire who hails from South Africa will just get his hands on the social network Twitter. One who is also the boss of Space X, Neuralink and The Boring Company ensures that he will reach 10 million copies sold annually in the medium term, and 20 million over ten years. That’s double what the market leader, Toyota, sold, today! A disproportionate goal, as is customary with the richest man on the planet, but not deceptive, as Tesla inaugurated two new Gigafactories in Berlin, Germany, and Austin, Texas. Two units in addition to those in Fremont, California, and Shanghai, China. They should each be capable of producing 500,000 vehicles per year. Increasing power is dramatically involved in securing rare metals essential to battery chemistry (cobalt, lithium and nickel).

The manufacturer also announced on Tuesday May 10 that it had signed a long -term commercial agreement with Brazilian mining group Vale, which undertakes supplying it with nickel extracted from its mines in Canada. The latter has an annual production capacity of 75,000 tons. In recent months, Tesla has stepped up partnerships of this type to get rid of the battery industry’s dangerous reliance on rare metals under Chinese domination.

After cars, Tesla humanoid robots

Nothing and nothing seems to be able to stop Tesla’s strong acceleration … except Tesla itself. “If Musk is still a few years ahead of its competitors in the ability of its vehicles to get more power and range from its engines, it seems to be having a hard time solving its reliability problems, Jean pointed out. -Pierre Corniou In 2021 alone., All generations together, 475,000 Tesla were recalled to dealerships due to poor workmanship, huge! “. Problems often affect Tesla’s Autopilot (semi-autonomous piloting), which also exposes it to widespread collective action in the event of an increase in serious accidents.

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Last problem until now, overheating of the central screen can lead to significant malfunctions. 130,000 vehicles made in 2021 and 2022 were recalled. A detail for Elon Musk who is already planning himself on his new project with the Tesla Bot, since it was named Optimus. A humanoid robot was unveiled last summer as a kind of day-to-day assistant, serving workers in factories as well as the families of the future. The first copy is due to be announced by the end of the year, and the billionaire said he is convinced that in the long run it will bring more money for Tesla than selling cars. We, of course, are not obligated to take Musk at his word. But the man has shown on many occasions that his statements should always be taken seriously.


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