German automaker Volkswagen AG VWAGY has talked about overtaking Tesla, Inc. TSLA as the leader in electric vehicle manufacturing by 2024.
Tesla’s Elon Musk has in the past laughed off the idea.
Is Volkswagen on track to assume the EV leadership mantle by the said timeframe? Going by the German company’s sales in the first half of 2022, the goal appears to be a long shot.
Volkswagen’s Global EV Sales Climb: The German company’s electric vehicle sales came in at 217,100 units in the first half of 2022, the company reported Friday. This represented a 22% increase from the 170,900 vehicles it sold in the same period last year.
The company highlighted the fact that it achieved year-over-year growth despite the supply bottlenecks and COVID-related lockdowns in China.
Tesla, meanwhile, reported 564,743 EVs in the first two quarters of the year. Volkswagen has managed to sell only about 38% of the cars Tesla has sold.
China – Area of Strength For Volkswagen: Volkswagen noted that EV sales in China increased more than three-fold to 63,500 units. Europe, however, was the company’s top-selling market. It sold 128,000 vehicles in the continent in H1’22. It lagged in the U.S. with sales of just 17,000 units.
Among models, Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5/ID.3 accounted for about 43% of the total sales. The other bestsellers included Audi e-tron, Škoda Enyaq iV, Porsche Taycan, and Audi Q4 e-tron.
Benzinga’s Take: Overtaking Tesla is a tall order for its rivals, given its first-mover advantage. However, Tesla cannot be lax about competition, especially from legacy automakers, which have a wealth of automaking experience and a global reach. Volkswagen is making a big push in North America, which is currently its sore spot. Analysts have long been convinced that the EV market is not a zero-sum game, and it is lucrative enough to allow more than one company to operate profitably.
Photo: Created with an image from Steve Jurvetson on Flickr