Home » The Tesla Model Y And Model 3 Are Becoming The iPhones Of Cars

The Tesla Model Y And Model 3 Are Becoming The iPhones Of Cars

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I hope you’re having a very fine July 3 Monday morning, Autopians. I also hope you aren’t having to work right before a weird midweek July 4, or at least, are phoning it in as hard as you possibly can and punching out early. Not us, however—ever vigilant, we will never stop delivering you the finest of posts.

Also unstoppable: Tesla, apparently, which rode the price cut wave to some record Q2 sales. We have that story today, plus some news about Hyundai’s next planned conquest; some robotaxi news in San Francisco that has city officials balking; and the automotive design world says goodbye to one of its modern greats.

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At This Point, Nobody Can Stop Tesla (Except Maybe BYD And That Doesn’t Concern You, At Least Not Yet Anyway)

0x0 Supercharger 10
Photo credit: Tesla

Tesla’s months and months of price cuts were occasionally derided as a cheap play to move metal, ultimately detrimental to a “premium” brand, to cover up for the fact the EV competition is rapidly catching up while it still struggles to launch new products. Of those criticisms, only the last one is proving still true—and for now and a good while to come, it may not matter.

Bloomberg reports Tesla had a very, very good Q2: 466,140 cars delivered globally, beating Wall Street estimates. Tesla doesn’t break out sales by model or region but it’s safe to assume the Model Y and Model 3, in that precise order, are utterly dominating EV sales right now. Bloomberg says that in Q1 at least, those two cars made up a stunning 96% of Tesla sales; basically nobody’s buying the Model S and Model X anymore.

In America, this sales win is helped along by the fact that Tesla’s cars are some of the few that qualify for the new EV tax credits—and come from an automaker able to supply them readily and with gusto.

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The only real competition is BYD, Bloomberg reports, and at least here in America that doesn’t matter yet:

Elon Musk-led Tesla delivered 466,140 cars worldwide, beating Wall Street estimates. BYD, China’s top-selling car brand, posted its best-ever quarter, selling 700,244 fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Worth noting that BYD’s sales figures always account for “electrified” vehicles so they include hybrids too. On pure EVs, Bloomberg’s chart shows, Tesla was still on top. More analysis:

Tesla has vowed to push for more volume even at the expense of profitability, putting more pressure on legacy carmakers that haven’t kept pace on EVs and have ceded overall market share. Volkswagen AG last week announced new leadership for its Audi brand, which fell behind Tesla in the first quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected Tesla to deliver 448,350 cars in the last three months.

“It’s a big beat,” Ben Kallo, a Robert W. Baird analyst, said by phone Sunday. “People were still bracing for another round of price cuts, and this big delivery number makes that less of a risk.”

The deliveries are the most ever in a quarter for Austin-based Tesla, and were up 83% from a year ago, when lockdowns hampered its operations in China. The company produced 13,560 more vehicles than it delivered in the quarter, after output exceeded sales by almost 18,000 cars in the first quarter.

“Everyone was worried about inventory build, and it looks like they’ve normalized,” Kallo said. “The delta between production and deliveries is shrinking, which is what Tesla said they would do.”

At the start of this year, I theorized Tesla could get hammered by a wave of new EV competition from General Motors, Ford, Hyundai, Volvo—almost everybody else. That certainly hasn’t been the case yet; I still think Tesla’s weak when it comes to putting truly new products on the road and the Cybertruck’s many delays are proof of that.

But guess what? So far, it doesn’t matter. Not to buyers. Right now Tesla’s still considered a hot, fresh product, and it alone has the scale and production capability to keep shelling out Model 3s and Model Ys to often first-time EV buyers. Meanwhile, the other OEMs are straining to get quality in order, ramp up battery production and sell EVs without bleeding cash.

In America, Tesla’s got a wide lead in the EV game. And the fact that the cars are getting older may just not matter for a very long time—not until some other automaker can match it at scale.

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In that way the Model 3 and Model Y are becoming the iPhones of cars: ubiquitous, appliance-like, often identical (or customized but only on a superficial level) and just purchased by default by countless people. For now, at least, the other brands are Androids—a few players duking it out for a smaller share of the market.

I emphasize for now because Tesla’s market share is slipping each quarter, but that’s taking a while. A bigger problem for Tesla may be in China, however, where it does face real competition and a newfound sense of hometown pride as Chinese buyers look to domestic brands and not foreign ones:

The company has fallen well behind BYD in China, its No. 2 market after the US. Right after the quarter came to a close, Tesla cut prices of its premium models in China by more than 4.5%.

Hyundai Goes After Japan’s Automakers On Their Home Turf

Hyundai Ioniq 5 Press

Speaking of domestic competition, few car markets are as tough to break into as Japan is. FUN FACT: It’s in part because, after World War II, Japan’s government essentially banned foreign investment into their domestic auto industry to keep it from being “colonized” by Ford or General Motors or whoever. The net effect of this allowed a bunch of brands to spring up fast, get up to speed quickly amid tight competition with each other, and kept the market largely closed off to foreign brands—save for the occasional Mercedes, BMW, Porsche or even Corvette for well-heeled buyers who wanted to flex.

To give you an idea of how deep this runs, Mercedes-Benz ranked ninth in Japanese sales in 2022, the highest-selling foreign brand, and even that was almost half what Mitsubishi did there. Even Mini, which is closest to the kids of cars they like, was way down at number 17. This is a hard market to break into.

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But one automaker that’s going after it is Hyundai, and it sees an opening with EVs—where the Japanese OEMs have proven to be incredibly weak in a modern sense. Hyundai’s betting that at least some Japanese buyers will be into EVs and the market will grow over time, so the plan is to get in good with Japan now while Toyota and Nissan and the rest work overtime to catch up.

It’s even trying to break in with online sales, which also aren’t a huge thing in Japan yet: Here’s Nikkei Asia (subscription required):

Hyundai reentered Japan in May 2022 after a 12-year break. Sales of its Ioniq 5 EV and Nexo fuel cell vehicle have begun online, but only 682 units had been sold as of this May.

“Hyundai’s brand recognition is still low. It’s not easy,” [Hyundai Motor CEO Chang Jaehoon] said of the Japanese market.

I didn’t know that! But not completely shocking given Japan and South Korea’s trade wars and historic tensions:

Hyundai Motor Group, including affiliate Kia, sold 6.85 million units worldwide in 2022, jumping to third globally. Yet it is difficult to break into the Japanese market, where the world’s top automakers already have an established presence. The company aims to raise brand awareness and capture new customers through its tie-up with CCC.

In addition to Tesla, the driving force behind online auto sales, Nissan Motor began online sales of an EV in November 2021 while Honda Motor announced plans the same year to start online sales in Japan within a few years.

But the majority of cars are still sold through dealerships in Japan. Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD, which entered the Japanese market at the end of January, is racing to build a network of dealerships.

“We want to try out this new online sales method for the EV age in Japan and adopt it in the rest of the world,” Chang said of Hyundai’s insistence on online sales despite Japanese market trends.

It will be super interesting to see how this plays out. EVs aren’t big in Japan but it’s unfathomable that those OEMs would want that to just be an export or U.S.-made market forever.

Is San Francisco Ready For The Robotaxi Takeover?

Cruise autonomous cars
Photo: Cruise

I was in San Francisco this summer on a reporting project for another outlet and I got to sample a few of my fully automated, no-human-in-the-front-row robotaxi options. In short, Waymo’s very good and Cruise is also good, though slightly less so; both were vastly more impressive than I thought they’d be. But are they ready to run around the clock, 24/7, along with other entrants into the market?

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That could happen soon, the Washington Post reports:

That would make San Francisco among the first cities in the country to offer such widespread service, and help solidify Waymo and Cruise as leaders in the internationally competitive industry of self-driving cars. It also would mark a major win for the companies, which argue that their technology operates largely without issue and could ultimately lead to safer streets in a city that experienced a spike of human driver-related road fatalities in 2022.

But the city’s not thrilled about this and I don’t blame them. Even as they get safer, robotaxis tend to bring a different level of mayhem to the area beyond just the normal stuff from (terrible) human drivers:

But the city has little say in the matter, which is regulated by the state. Still, officials have written letters of protest to the state regulators, fixating on a recent spike in incidents: driverless cars that have snarled traffic, interrupted emergency scenes, disrupted bus routes and clashed with bicycles and pedestrians.

“We’ve had them run over our fire hoses. We’ve had our hoses get caught in their axles. We’ve had them block fire engines, and we’ve had them come into live active fire scenes,” said Jeanine Nicholson, chief of the San Francisco Fire Department. “We need something to change.”

She said the fire department has logged 66 incidents since May 2022, and that their frequency is accelerating. She added that she is “certain that we have not logged all of them.”

However, since it’s an issue of state regulations, “city officials are left with few options other than to tally up these incidents, complain loudly and warn that it’s only a matter of time before something catastrophic happens,” the Post reports. Ouch. Incident reporting from these robotaxi companies in particular is a problem; cities like San Francisco say they aren’t getting enough data on minor incidents or guarantees that they’re made aware of all the problems that arise.

Why does this matter to you if you don’t live in the Bay Area, you ask? It does because all these companies are planning wider expansions soon: Phoenix, Los Angeles and Austin are just some places where you’ll see a lot more robotaxis soon. Your city may be next.

The director at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency told the Post he feels like a lot of these cars are teenagers on their learner’s permits, rather than experienced pro drivers. That’s more a metaphor I apply to Tesla’s sketchy Full Self-Driving than Waymo, but yeah, point taken.

Peter Horbury, Volvo, Lotus and Ford Design Legend, Dies At 73

39037 Peter Horbury Design Showroom Volvo Car Corporation S Hq Gothenburg Sweden
Photo: Volvo

We end today’s morning news roundup on a more unfortunate note but one that is worth covering here: Peter Horbury, a design legend in the car business, died last week visiting colleagues in China, according to multiple auto companies and news outlets. Horbury was 73; the cause of his passing is unknown.

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Horbury, a British designer, began his career at Chrysler in the UK before a stint at Ford and then Volvo; the latter is what he was arguably best known for. After stints there and at Geely, he was most recently at Lotus following its acquisition by the Chinese automaker.

He was also, based on everything I have read and heard, a first-rate human being. From Automotive News:

“He was a proper giant in car design. Everybody knew Peter. There will be a pain felt throughout the industry because of this,” Sam Livingstone, director of consultancy Car Design Research, told Automotive News Europe.

Peter Stevens, former Lotus head of design and now a design consultant, was Horbury’s former tutor at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. He said Horbury’s talents extended beyond design.

“Peter’s natural charm, great sense of humor and modesty were far from the brash, ego-driven characters who now populate many automotive boardrooms,” he told ANE. “He had an ability to understand the culture of all the makes that he worked on, from Chrysler to Ford, Volvo, Lotus and others, which manifested itself in guiding the long-term design language of those brands.”

Among many other achievements, Horbury is credited with helping to bring Volvo into a more modern era in the 1990s and 2000s with hits like the XC90 crossover and its contemporaries; he later served as head of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group design studios, which at the time included Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and industry colleagues.

Your Turn

How long can Tesla maintain this intense EV lead with an aging product line? The Model Y isn’t so long in the tooth; it just came out in 2020. But the competition hasn’t materialized at scale as quickly as we thought. Will this lead ever really start to taper off?

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Ron888
Ron888
1 year ago

Over several decades i’ve heard and seen some odd things with regards Japan’s car sales.They are heavily into tradition ,including how cars are sold.
It’ll be interesting to see if online sales can succeed

Lotsofchops
Lotsofchops
1 year ago

I kind of thought the constant price fluctuations would be a turn-off for potential Tesla buyers, but just another point against listening to what I have to say. I guess when you want a new car you want one soon, but I’d be hesitant to pull the trigger if the next week it could’ve been $5k cheaper.

Jakob Johansen
Jakob Johansen
1 year ago

Loosing market share?
Tesla offers two models, a sedan and a crossover, both 3+ times more expensive than the cheapest cars on the market.
Tesla are electric only and officially only sold in 35 countries.

Despite this, Tesla has outsold any other brand (electric or not) in my local market all year, and had a global market share of 2% in 2022, approaching 3% in 2023.

I compare this to a one legged swimmer, participating in the marathon at the regular Olympics and winning.

Jakob Johansen
Jakob Johansen
1 year ago
Reply to  Jakob Johansen

Btw, that is 2 and 3 % of all car sales, not just electric, and not just in their segment.

10001010
10001010
1 year ago

I don’t think the aging product line will really be a problem for Tesla until those over manufacturers actually give them some competition on range, performance, charging, price, tech, etc. Some are getting close on 1 or 2 of those attribute but none are really competing on all of them. I haven’t bought my first EV yet because I’m not rich but the Model 3 is still at the top of my list despite its age.

Erik McCullough
Erik McCullough
1 year ago
Reply to  10001010

I tend to disagree. No one wants to buy the same car twice. So, they’ll either lose people or delay purchases — neither of which helps Tesla.

GhosnInABox
GhosnInABox
1 year ago

It really speaks volumes about a society when their answer to modern public transportation is “robot car tech startups”.

“Imagine a world with all the powerless fear of rush hour commuting but with 100% less jobs for real drivers.”

As if enough of my life wasn’t already in the perilous hands of big tech.

Maybe they’re just big Herbie fans but if you are going to test this in a car-dependant country with piss-poor public transportation, why pick one of the few cities that already has buses, trolleys and rapid transit in good working order?

Last edited 1 year ago by GhosnInABox
Leighzbohns
Leighzbohns
1 year ago
Reply to  GhosnInABox

it’s important for the autonomous car companies to shit where they eat.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
1 year ago
Reply to  GhosnInABox

Herbie, at least, had a soul.

GhosnInABox
GhosnInABox
1 year ago

Going over some of the iPhone/Tesla parallels in my head:

1. Both run on batteries. Check.

2. Both are previously unfathomable pieces of tech that have become ubiquitous and boring as a result of an overwhelming market share. Double Check.

3. Both companies have/had an allegedly megalomaniacal sociopath as the face of the brand. Big ol’ check.

4. Both are part of the growing “Brand Cult” movement consisting of millions of versions of “that guy you hate on YouTube”. Checko.

5. Both look like they cost 3x less than they really do. Checkety check.

6 Both are made in factories that are said to be hell on earth by employees. Checkarino

7. Both allegedly harvest your personal data like an MF without really disclosing the extent of it. Checkaroo.

All boxes checked. God bless America. The customer is always right. Now stop the world so I can get off.

Last edited 1 year ago by GhosnInABox
SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
1 year ago

“…Japan’s notoriously byzantine and arcane copyright laws. Which the Japanese government holds cannot be translated into any other language. Particularly the Design Act.”

Ministry of Justice web page:
https://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/en/laws/view/3269/en

And if you mean that the home-language version takes precedence in law, that goes without saying in any country’s courts.

Last edited 1 year ago by SonOfLP500
ScottyB
ScottyB
1 year ago

I dunno about the iPhone/Tesla comparison. Pretty sure my iPhone won’t kill me by colliding into a sky blue box truck, EMT rig, or bright red fire engine.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 year ago

“not completely shocking given Japan and South Korea’s trade wars and historic tensions”

Come on guys! Move on! You won’t find a French refusing to buy a VW because of WW2.

Full disclosure: I’m no expert about the history of these two countries, feel free to educate me, I’m always willing to learn!

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 year ago

Maybe the French and Germans are cool with other because they have gone to war so many times that it isn’t special any more.
You had the 30 years war, the Franco Prussian war, Napoleonic wars, WW1, WW2. They are just used to it by now.

Jho'nuquas
Jho'nuquas
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

Also EU kind of forces them to place nice whether they want to or not

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jho'nuquas

My grandma lived through the war, my parents and I did not. I have a bunch of German friends, went there for school exchanges too. It’s not like we’re FORCED to tolerate each other.

They are neighbors now, we built some cool stuff together (Airbus for example) and not trying to invade each other for almost 80 years has been good for both countries. If we hang on to past gripes, we have the entire world to hate, and it should hate us back (France has a checkered past to say the least).

Last edited 1 year ago by Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

That’s especially true as I come from Alsace, an area that hopped that border so many times I stopped counting.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

Tesla vs BYD doesnt matter. First byd is not selling anywhere but China and probably wont pass standards especially at high demand. I bet Tesla quality is higher than ever but if you own 95% of the market your share can only go down. I think Biden will shut down BYD ever coming here due to slave labor used in production and they will never qualify for any rebates.
As far as SAN FRAN and robo taxis it wont happen. Everyone who can afford it is leaving. I myself predict calling a robotaxi only to find a drug addict or alchoholic has moved into the front seat if not the whole damn car. Why will anyone need a cab in frisco? No stores pikes of needles and shit mostly likely Karma for the gold rush environmental damage.

David Wills
David Wills
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Not true, BYD is targeting Europe next, theyre selling the Atto 3 model here in the UK, I’ve seen a couple already. And the smaller Dolphin model is next. I believe theyre selling in other countries in Europe as well.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Like most people, you’re missing the word “yet” when it comes to east asia.

Frisco is in Texas.

Sundance
Sundance
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

“First byd is not selling anywhere but China” Wrong: They’re selling here in Germany. For example this is the dealer in Hamburg: http://www.sternpartner.de/byd

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

The REAL closed market is the US! We have standards that different but not better, and we don’t accept the international UNECE standards. Plus the jealous chicken tax.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Well you can’t buy a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge in Japan but you can buy a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan in the US, so not really.

B3n
B3n
1 year ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

But only some of their models that were specifically “federalized”, that is, heavily modified to be compliant with DOT, EPA, FMVSS and other US-only standards.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Japan’s standards are basically the US standards but adapted for the other side of the road. They also accept UNECE standards.

Most Detroit shit is fucking huge and just doesn’t fit on Japan’s roads, and they use displacement tax, which hurts big blocks.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
1 year ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

You can’t buy them because when those companies did sell in Japan they did not sell appropriate vehicles for the Japanese market which favours small and economical cars and and ended their Japanese operations from lack of sales into a parochial Japanese market – Not because they weren’t allowed to. Where as Japanese manufacturers made USA specific cars to sell in the USA.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago

According to the stans, Teslas keep getting better through software. Therefore a 2018 Model 3 appearing outwardly identical to a 2023 isn’t an issue at all. The 2018 “has more features than when it was new and the existing ones work better” or somesuch. It is true that the 2023 does have what is generally regarded as improved hardware.

This is analogous to GM keeping the H-body (Bonneville, LeSabre, 88) outwardly identical from 1991 through 1999 despite many small changes under the skin. The largest was in MY 1996 when the 165 hp OBD1.5 L27 3800 Series I/4T60 was replaced with the 205 hp OBD2 L36 3800 Series II and 4T65.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
1 year ago

The drive hardware is pretty much the same. There more battery options on the 2020 and later. If you have purchased FSD, they upgrade the computer to the latest as part of the service, so you’re running the same compute hardware. Oh, and if you have a 2018 you still have the ultrasound sensors and the radar. The software load is pretty much the same, and it gets the same updates.

Nauthiz
Nauthiz
1 year ago

Honestly, it’s probably a good thing if they’re continuing to refine the hardware & software of the cars rather than doing a full cosmetic refresh.

Hardware failing, build quality, and bits and pieces falling off at speed were all issues that it’s probably better they fix through correcting whatever internal process fails allowed them in the first place, and that’s probably helped if they’re not completely redesigning the cars at the same time. They’ve already made it highly suspect that they’d be able to walk & chew gum at the same time.

Unclesam
Unclesam
1 year ago

Can you actually buy the Tesla model you want? That might have something to do with it. If they’re a) available and b) available for the price they’re advertised at, I bet that means they’ll sell.

If the other companies aren’t actually delivering cars, and the ones they do deliver are all high trim plus extra dealer bullshit because “supply constraints” and stuff like Ford’s pricing bullshit, then Tesla probably won’t have to lose much sleep for a while

It seems obvious to me that people don’t like dealer bullshit and will go out of their way to avoid it if they can

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 year ago
Reply to  Unclesam

I was able to buy the exact Model 3 I wanted twice. The second one was to replace the first after it was totaled. I had a VIN either the next business day or immediately upon ordering.

I tried buying a Chevy Bolt and an ID.4 before the Tesla price drops. I may still be waiting on both.

Unclesam
Unclesam
1 year ago

We have a bolt and it was a miserable six month process from trying to buy until taking delivery. I started looking at the Id.4 a couple of times but despite being assured local dealers had plenty of inventory, the lower trim ones don’t seem to exist outside of VW.com so I never got to the test drive stage

Tony Grichnik
Tony Grichnik
1 year ago
Reply to  Unclesam

This is a really good point. The other automakers really have no one to blame but themselves at this point for poor dealer behavior and lack of cars configured the way customers want to receive them.

Studdley
Studdley
1 year ago

Ditch the robo taxi and build a subway system.

Ricki
Ricki
1 year ago
Reply to  Studdley

The Bay has “okay” public transit (as okay as so many disparate private corporations can be), but the BART tunnel from SF to Oakland was one of the loudest and most unpleasant experiences I have ever had in my life. The overall problem, though (so far as I could tell), is that tech bros don’t want see poor people, ever, be it on the street, on a bus, or driving their cab. Why have a cheap, clean, reliable transportation system, when we can have individual hermetically-sealed techboxes that reinvent existing technology yet again?

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricki

Nope. The real issue in the Bay Area is: too many cities that don’t want to give up power, too distributed, and very few shift jobs. Add earthquakes, the need to grease to many palms and a mostly incompetent state government and there you are. I lived there for over 40 years; this is a problem that won’t be solved.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Ricki

> The Bay has “okay” public transit (as okay as so many disparate private corporations can be),

No, it really doesn’t. Forget the relationships between the agencies. BART alone is a disgrace. Muni is a disgrace. Caltrain is basically useless unless you work at Apple/eBay/FB and live in the city or the other way around.

Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
1 year ago

So Teslas are the iPhones of the EV world? “iPhone” as in “ridiculously overpriced bit of tech kit that not very many people actually buy” (almost everyone has an Android phone, at least over here, and most are Samsungs)?

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Ibert

As in both started by Massive Assholes that had enough X-Factor to suck in a certain demographic of people that somehow have cult like feelings about things being made regardless of the various flaws.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Ibert

Domestically, Apple does have a 56% share of the cell phone market, worldwide, they’re also #1, but with a narrower lead than in the US, at 22%, individual markets vary, but the comparison is valid – Tesla is crushing the competition in their home market, still on top worldwide, but weaker in some important individual markets, like China. Outwardly dominant, but with some vulnerabilities that the competition might be able to exploit

Methane generator
Methane generator
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Tesla is a little bit iPhone-over-Android (frist!), little bit VHS-over-Betamax (bare minimum).

Gee See
Gee See
1 year ago

If Telsa is the iPhones of EV.. who will be the Android equivalent? Qualcomm?

Tesla uses x86 and linux, it seems its competition all run their own thing with very little commonality?

Methane generator
Methane generator
1 year ago
Reply to  Gee See

Wait they run their own thing like M2 and XNU?

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
1 year ago

How long can Tesla maintain this intense EV lead with an aging product line?”
Glances at the Dodge/Chrysler product lines….apparently another 5 or 6 years at least.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
1 year ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Toyota and Infiniti have entered the chat.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
1 year ago

“For now, at least, the other brands are Androids—a few players duking it out for a smaller share of the market.”

PG, not to nitpick here, but Android has a much larger grasp of the global market. Most estimate it at roughly 71% of total sales. iPhone has the majority sales share in the U.S., but that’s about it. Not sure what that says about your analogy, or how that transcribes into EV sales around the rest of the world, but there IS something in there somewhere about how the US is just a sliver in the whole equation.

Last edited 1 year ago by ...getstoneyII
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

It’s the same thing that happens with Apple computers, in that they’re both software and hardware, Apple is still the #1 selling brand of phone worldwide, but iOS is not the #1 platform, since its, obviously, only used by Apple, whereas Android is available to basically every cell phone manufacturer that wants to license it, it’s the Windows/Mac thing over again. There were many years in the ’90s/’00s/’10s where Apple ranked close to the top among computer brands (against Dell, HP, etc), but, obviously, MacOS ranked way low as an operating system, since Apple doesn’t license it out

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I’m not gonna get into a cell phone war because that’s just dumb. However, to say that the iPhone is the #1 selling phone worldwide is…less than true. A simple Google query would answer this for you.

I won’t argue open-source vs. closed-source either, as that is equally dumb to play the “what is better” game. They all accomplish the same goals. The truth is that in America people think Apple is better for some reason. The rest of the world thinks differently. There is a life lesson in that. Probably multiple Billions of dollars of difference.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Well, Apple has 23% global market share, Samsung is #2 at 19%, so if you go by individual phone brands, yes, they are #1. If you go by operating systems, Apple iOS vs Google Android, then, no, they aren’t, not by a long shot, because they’re the only brand that uses, or even can use, iOS and Android is open to basically anyone.

Not arguing anything, I haven’t bought an iPhone in 10+ years and my last Apple computer was ca 14 years ago, just pointing out the similarities. FWIW, I prefer Android mainly due to the flexibility, you can hop brand to brand, BlackBerry to Motorola to Samsung and everything just reloads automatically on the new phone with no hassle, Apple, you’re kind of stuck in their ecosystem. But, I have always had iPhones for work and don’t really have anything strongly against them

Last edited 1 year ago by Ranwhenparked
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago

So, Tesla is product dumping to keep its market advantage. Remember when we hated Japanese car and motorcycle companies for doing this? Cue The Vapors.

Unclesam
Unclesam
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Dumping is only dumping when evil foreigners do it

David Smith
David Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Unclesam

If you can’t trust unclesam who can you trust?

Data
Data
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it’s dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger
Everyone avoids me like a psyched Lone Ranger
Everyone

That’s why I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese
I really think so

Chris D
Chris D
1 year ago
Reply to  Data

Long live the good Doctor!

(Doctor Demento, of course.)

Bendanzig
Bendanzig
1 year ago
Reply to  Data

Wait. It isn’t “cyclone Ranger”?

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

What will be most interesting, did they make a profit in Q2 on vehicles with the dumping.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Yes, their cars before the cuts were making about $9k each.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
1 year ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

It’s only dumping if you’re losing money on it. Tesla isn’t, unlike most companies building EV’s.

Bearddevil
Bearddevil
1 year ago

I think Tesla can keep its dominant market spot for at least the next 2 years. As long as its products are still “good enough” and “relatively affordable” compared to the rest of the EV market, there’s no reason they can’t stay where they are. The real salient features of an EV are range and price, and to a lesser extent, acceleration. Every car in a similar price range is going to have a comparable technology set – driver aids, in car entertainment, etc. Tesla maintains the advantage of no legacy pension obligations, a union-busting stance to keep wages low, good vertical integration to control costs, and a lot of parts sharing and very few models to also control costs, and the advantage of the tax credits that gives them a major pricing advantage. None of those are going to change for the next two years at least.

With the wider adoption of NACS, they’re going to lose the advantage of having an exclusive charging network that doesn’t suck, and the battery factories for the other manufacturers should start delivering product in ’25 or ’26, which will let them access tax credits to help with price. But Tesla’s margins are still going to be greater due to fewer legacy costs and less product diversity. But their advantage will shrink some.

Taco Shackleford
Taco Shackleford
1 year ago

I never knew his name until today, but I am huge fan of Peter Horbury’s designs. we just lost our V50 in an accident, but there are plenty of other Volvo’s he’s penned that I wouldn’t mind owning again.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

Yeah, he really pulled off a rare thing at Volvo – completely and radically transforming the brand image and totally discarding all traces of the design language they had been using for ca 30 years, but without pissing anybody off. Even hard core Volvo traditionalists loved the new direction. The 1998 S80 was one of the most beautiful sedans on the market and reset Volvo as a brand focused on style in addition to safety.

Ford_Timelord
Ford_Timelord
1 year ago

V50 is still a great looking car. Volvo nailed it with their design language around that time. My D5 went like the clappers for 250,000kms until the transmission decide to leave the chat. Got it replaced with a secondhand unit but lost all confidence in it for interstate runs.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

How long can Tesla maintain this intense EV lead with an aging product line?

That depends on the competition, the Tesla fans, and whether FSD gets shut down.

The Blazer and Equinox are likely to be the first really solid competition, since they are “normal” crossovers people might really go for and come from a known domestic brand. If Chevy can make enough and keep the prices reasonable, that’s a major competitor. Interestingly, it’s exactly the fact that they seem less new that will help them sell. The Korean EVs are interesting, but they aren’t familiar enough to convince a lot of mainstream buyers, especially without a tax credit (not to mention the long memory of poor reputation). Ford was onto something with the F150 Lightning, but that’s not direct competition to anything Tesla makes and doesn’t offer quite what people want (range being the main failing). The increasing price and low availability really makes it hard to consider a real competitor.

The Tesla fans are going to be a big driver, too. If Tesla can push out minor updates and get current owners to buy new Teslas, they’re really onto something akin to the iPhone’s ability to get owners to upgrade frequently. It’ll also help when the secondary market shows it can support significant numbers of used EVs (the kits that drop other bodies on Tesla platforms could help with the secondary market). Good residual value could be a selling point for Tesla, just like it is for Toyota.

Of course, if FSD gets regulated out of existence (highly unlikely), we’ll see a lot of changes. Tesla vehicles will potentially see a price hike (FSD sales likely subsidize non-FSD car prices) and a demand drop (FSD is one of the big draws for the tech set). If other manufacturers are offering vehicles that are a pleasure to drive and Tesla needs to improve the driving experience to make up for the loss of the promise of non-driving experience, it could tip the scales.

I think they’ve got at least a few years before mainstream competition is a real threat.

Strangek
Strangek
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

I hadn’t thought of this before, but what would encourage a Tesla driver to buy a new Tesla if they haven’t really changed? If I own a Model 3 and I like it, what value would there be in getting a newer Model 3 if the updates are just software that can be pushed to my current car? When I upgrade to a new iPhone, I’m getting a different phone whose shape, size, weight, etc. has probably changed a little bit and whose processing power, storage capacity, etc. is generally better.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Strangek

The things that will encourage them to buy a new one right now would likely be the slight hardware tweaks (kind of like iPhone’s iterative updates). They recently updated the cameras and such, which could convince the FSD believers to upgrade. If they come up with a new battery chemistry or the like for increased range, there’ll be upgrades. They don’t need to convince their fans the new one looks better, they need to give them better specs. The tech set loves specs.

The competition, however, might do best by offering style and comfort, to grab a different consumer. Get the slow adopter with the same knobs, look, and feel they get with ICE. Unless you can come in with better range, better speed, and/or a better price (pick two, preferably all three), you don’t convince people to buy your vehicle over a Tesla right now.

Harmanx
Harmanx
1 year ago
Reply to  Strangek

Not really talked about in articles here is a complete Model 3 refresh expected later this year. Everything has supposedly been changed (exterior, interior, and tech).

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 year ago
Reply to  Harmanx

I’m surprised it’s taken so long. I recall that when the Y first came out, people noted how much better it was from a manufacturability standpoint, and that Tesla would surely bring those improvements to the 3 with a model refresh.

Harmanx
Harmanx
1 year ago
Reply to  Gubbin

Instead of a single big refresh every two years like most cars get, Tesla’s m.o. has been continual (but often important) improvements — sometimes literally week to week. I have a 2018 Model 3 and the current one has evolved well beyond it. It’s become a better car throughout (aside from the removal of the ultrasonic sensors, IMHO). Way better HVAC/battery temp management for better range, better headlights, better center console, better USB connectivity, revamped overall manufacturing, and supposedly hundreds of other tweaks.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
1 year ago
Reply to  Harmanx

What manufacture of any type of car gets big refresh every 2yrs? None. Typical refresh is 6-10yrs and a mid-cycle refresh about 3/4 through the model life. Continually updating every 1-2 years is not wise. Tesla updates annually have always been to cut costs someway or make it a cheaper POS.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brian Ash
Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Harmanx

I think it’s been ignored largely because the actual details are sparse. A spy shot here and there doesn’t tell enough of a story. Once we can really see the expected changes, I would guess someone here will write about it.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
1 year ago
Reply to  Strangek

The car may look the same but Hardware 4 is being deployed in the Y, S, and X already. Its upgraded. The batteries and drive units have also been upgraded over the years. Just the outside has stayed the same, even the interior was updated.

Chris D
Chris D
1 year ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

They could make the changes visible in some subtle way, like adding pinstriping or two-tone paint, or maybe just a contrasting background behind the T badge. The public’s perception of Tesla is that the new ones are the same as the old ones.

86-GL
86-GL
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

From my perspective, the biggest issue with the Lightning is price.

I was truck shopping (lightly used) last week, and most of our decent Ford dealers up here in Ontario actually have a few Lightings on the lot.

Only issue? They want $112,000 CAD for them. That’s simply way too much money for a 1/2 ton pickup truck. Yes, modern trucks are already expensive, but not so much that a reasonable person could hand-wave a $30-40,000 up-charge. Yes, people make dumb truck-buying decisions, but there ARE limits. Cost of living is at an all time high, and some middle class people are feeling economic uncertainly.

I have no doubt range is a serious issue for many truck people, but there are plenty of trucks that stay within a small radius, and early adopters who would be willing to make some lifestyle changes to flex their electric cred- If they could actually buy the damn thing.

Tesla drivers have already shown they are willing to make some reasonable quality/luxury sacrifices vs the traditional competition (a basic BMW sedan) if it means they can enjoy the perks of electric driving (A different kind of luxury) for the SAME COST of entry.

Companies need to stop trying to build electric vehicles that replicate the exact experience of their gas rivals. It’s okay to be different and have trade offs. For some people, an electric truck built to a work-truck spec is more desirable (and luxurious) than a high-end gas truck with leather seats purely because they can plug it in at home. And they will happily pay the same price.

Last edited 1 year ago by 86-GL
Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  86-GL

Companies need to stop trying to build electric vehicles that replicate the exact experience of their gas rivals. 

Absolutely true, though there is a significant portion of consumers who are looking for almost exactly that. The Lightning is fantastic for things like local work trucks, but it’s not a direct competitor to the longer-range EVs. Not even a direct competitor to the Cybertruck, if that arrives. But it would be excellent for its purpose if they didn’t keep increasing the price.

Greg
Greg
1 year ago

Not sure I’d be ready to go full robo car after all the videos I’ve seen of it going wrong. I can see as a business owner how I’d be interested in this. A taxi company where your employees never skim, never call in sick etc…

I wonder if you need a “token” like in NYC to be a cab there, and if these computer cars would be required to have one?

Tesla, good for you, I want to see Musk start pushing for some real infrastructure improvements. Not just the seemingly “money disappearing” magic trick transportation construction we’ve seen so far around the country. If he wants his cars to work for everyone, we need to energy production and charging infrastructure to back it. Maybe Ford/GMC/Volvo can pitch in a bit now that they all are sharing the same plugs. I have to think theres good money to be made once it’s up and running.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

I think Tesla’s success, and the relative success of some other “ancient” products like the Chrysler LX cars, the Nissan Z, the Ram HD and Classic, etc should have us questioning the autojournalist/automaker PR/Alfred Sloan dogma that newer is always better and older equates to outdated.

Protodite
Protodite
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I think that’s a great point. I’ve said this about a post last week talking about how EV adoption is terrifically slow, especially when compared to the charts we are continually fed about “what it will be.” You simply cannot hype something into success! You have almost every mainstream outlet in near lockstep about how Musk is now public persona non grata #1 (not offering opinion here…), and thus Tesla is now Bad. As much as we get hype and article after article about how much better this new EV is than the Tesla, the public largely doesn’t seem to care. I think the comparison to the iPhone is a great one – it’s a product that is changed incrementally, but has such a strong brand recognition, overwhelmingly positive public view, and an experience that people just want to purchase. Plus they have the ecosystem down, and with everyone switching to their charger standard it seems pretty clear that they won that battle.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Protodite

You have almost every mainstream outlet in near lockstep about how Musk is now public persona non grata #1 (not offering opinion here…), and thus Tesla is now Bad.

Yeah, this is tiresome for sure. And based on sales, the campaign clearly doesn’t seem to be working either.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I think it’s a byproduct of our social media era, on both sides. Social media enables Musk to cultivate visible leadership of his mob for his own benefit, which then prompts other mobs to form/resist/fight for theirs.

In the end, it all sorta cancels out and we’re left with the fact that people like their Teslas as actual vehicles they use in the real world. Which is (still, at least for now) how manufacturers get people to purchase their goods.

It’s refreshing in a sense that it’s really nothing we haven’t seen before.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
1 year ago
Reply to  Protodite

Well in the US, California EV adoption is huge. 16% in 2022. California is 12% of the US car market.

EV sales made up 16 percent of new vehicle sales in California in 2022, with a total of 292,496 battery-electric vehicles hitting the state’s roads, according to data from the California Energy Commission (CEC). Additionally, there were 50,748 plug-in hybrids and 2,574 fuel-cell vehicles sold during the year.

In California last year, Tesla sold 94,683 Model 3 units, 93,872 Model Y units, 13,319 Model X units and 10,712 Model S units.
Following Tesla, no top EV sellers surpassed 10,000 units in the state, though notable vehicles included, in order of sales figures, the Chevy Bolt EV and EUV (4,001 and 8,709, respectively), the Ford Mustang Mach-E (9,860) and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (7,519).”

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
1 year ago
Reply to  Protodite

Nobody hates Tim Cook, and Steve Jobs wasn’t a Nazi.

Chris D
Chris D
1 year ago
Reply to  Protodite

Public acceptance of electric vehicles will increase dramatically as soon as the newer tech batteries come into mass production. Weight, cost and charging times are coming down, and range is going up. Toyota is smart to wait until electric cars don’t have to weigh more than ICE cars. The current battery technology will be as obsolete as 78RPM records before people’s car loans are paid off.

From the Financial Times 7/3/23:

But on Tuesday, Kaita said the company discovered ways to address the durability problems from about three years ago and now had enough confidence to mass-produce solid-state batteries in EVs by 2027 or 2028. Toyota claimed it had made a “technological breakthrough” to resolve durability issues and “a solution for materials” that would allow an EV powered by a solid-state battery to have a range of 1,200km and charging time of 10 minutes or less. “All of our members are highly motivated and are working with the intention to definitely launch” the technology by the promised timeline, said Kaita.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

It’s really funny to me that automakers have caught on and started reviving model names and offering throwback packages. People like the familiar, not the new for the sake of novelty, so making a new Bronco that is reminiscent of the old one means Ford can’t keep up. Keeping the Tacoma and 4Runner very familiar means they keep selling. The Challenger sold really well just by being reminiscent of the old one, and it’s kept selling without major changes. Jeep electrified the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee without making them any more tech-heavy than the gassers, and they’ve sold a ton of the Wrangler 4xe.

The Blazer, to me, is the first real competitor because it’s just familiar enough to convince people. We’ll see how GM screws that up (price increase before release, low availability).

Gubbin
Gubbin
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

If there’s been a significant culture shift like this, it deserves some good study and reporting from a seasoned writer such as Mr. George. I can think of a lot of reasons why novelty is not as important in the car market as it used to be.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yeah, it needs to be more nuanced. The right product is one that resonates with consumers. A brand new design could be an embarrassing flop, a 15 year old one could still be racking up best-ever sales numbers year after year (Challenger). Certainly, on the platform side, there have been many that had very long lives and pulled it off, albeit with significant sheet metal changed to keep them visually new (GM W-body)

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
1 year ago

Hot take: Tesla could give the 3 and Y a fairly modest facelift and keep selling them for another 10 years. The competition is so far behind, they would still dominate market share.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

Honestly, despite the association with weird Tesla stans (like that guy complaining about gas stations the other day), I would strongly consider a Model 3 or Y if the interior were updated to include a small instrument screen in front of the driver and physical controls for HVAC and media. Wouldn’t even need an exterior facelift.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

“I would strongly consider a Model 3 or Y if the interior were updated to include a small instrument screen in front of the driver and physical controls for HVAC and media. Wouldn’t even need an exterior facelift.”

Well there’s this:

https://www.thedrive.com/news/buttons-and-knobs-are-coming-to-the-tesla-model-3-and-y

Its a kluge (and I have my doubts on its longevity) but at least it shows what’s possible.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

It’s nice that people are addressing this issue, but I similarly have doubts. And I don’t like that it connects to your phone to then pass commands to the car. I’d strongly prefer buttons and knobs built in. I have seen the aftermarket instrument cluster displays, and I think I would be more likely to add that if they added buttons than to add buttons if they added the instrument cluster.

Harmanx
Harmanx
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

The interior/exterior/tech overhaul of Model 3 (with codename “Highland” if you want to search more info) is expected later this year.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Harmanx

Nothing I’ve seen has led me to believe there will be more physical controls, but that would be a pleasant surprise. Most of what I have seen has been massive anticipation and speculation based on a few photos, so there is room for a big surprise in the reveal.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

There will likely be fewer physical controls. Honestly for most of the stuff its not an issue. I set HVAC to auto like I did in my ICE cars and don’t touch it. As for an instrument cluster, the speedometer is in your line of sight in the car but on the right instead of dead center. I would like one if I could also show navigation on it but it was easy to get used to. They also updated some controls so that you can adjust them easier with the steering wheel controls.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  JaredTheGeek

It may not be an issue for you, but I use my controls. While I often leave my AC at 66, I sometimes bring it down to 63, and my heat gets some tweaks in the winter. I adjust my volume a lot depending on song, road condition, and circumstance.

While I probably could get by with the speedometer being on the right, my current setup gives me speed, range, and tire pressure all at a glance, as well as popping up nav and song info as appropriate, all without looking to the center stack.

I know a lot of Tesla folks think fewer physical controls are better, but I disagree.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

I am fairly sure Tesla could offer a ‘tactile cockpit’ option that would sell at a profit, and since almost all the current controls are touchscreen driven it would be very easy to code a physical switch in place of a virtual one. Heck, I think the tactless cabin should cost more but what do I know.

Yes, yes, I know all the stans are going to tell me I don’t need buttons and switches, and that the reason Tesla can sell for less than rivals is the fact that they’ve simplified manufacturing, eliminated parts, etc. but that’s missing the point. Sooner or later the only folks not buying a Tesla will be the folks in this thread that won’t buy Tesla because they don’t like the product. Maybe Elon thinks he doesn’t need those people, but I don’t know many corporations that don’t want new customers.

Studdley
Studdley
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

I find it so silly that people don’t want to buy a Tesla because of a bunch of people on Twitter. How many Chevy guys bought hats that say something to the tune of “Ford drivers = gay”. Buy it because you want it.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Studdley

There’s something to be said for the image one projects. And for choosing where your money goes. That said, I don’t see Tesla adding physical controls any time soon, so the point is moot.

As far as the Chevy/Ford crap, while there are plenty insistent their brand is better, it doesn’t have the same sort of cult-like following. Maybe it’s the fact that tech bros hadn’t been car guys before, but hardcore Tesla fans go a lot farther into their tribalism than the other brand guys. They feel a lot more like the guys who roll coal and have massively lifted pickups as commuter cars, and I don’t want to be associated with those guys, either.

David Smith
David Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

I’m not worried about image one bit (’09 Matrix and ’04 Odyssey owner here) I would only worry about usability. Tesla’s don’t match my need case and coal rollers don’t either. I agree that Tesla’s biggest problem is the lack of buttons/tactile interface for the more important controls of the vehicle. And I also like to drive so BS FSD holds no appeal.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  David Smith

What Tesla has that makes it a temptation is the best range/price combination. But that’s a rapidly shifting target. The Ioniq 6 is tempting, but that tiny trunk is probably too small and the price for the long range is a little high. I figure there might be something coming soon that will convert me to a full EV. The Blazer might do it, though I fully expect a price hike before release that might make the value proposition much worse. Rivian coming out with a smaller, more affordable pickup could do the trick, if the value is good.

I’m in a PHEV now, so it’s not a rush. Though the solenoid in the charging port lock just went out, which isn’t a great sign for things to come.

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