fr24news– Matthias Schmidt raised a relevant question with a chart he created for the European electric car market. When all the other companies offering electric vehicles saw their sales increase, Tesla sold fewer vehicles than before. We had a few questions for him and were able to speak to the founder of Schmidt Automotive Research. Our interview raised even more concerns for Giga Berlin.
If you remember, Tesla was already struggling to recruit staff for the factory. Last year’s sales performance is something else Giga Berlin now needs to address. But will he have the right tools to make it happen?
Our main doubt was why Schmidt decided to only have the 18 countries that formed the European Union before 2004. Here is his explanation:
“THE REPORT FOCUSES ON THESE 18 MARKETS, AS THIS REPRESENTS OVER 90% OF THE EU PASSENGER CAR MARKET PLUS EFTA AND UK.”
For our other question, Schmidt didn’t give us his guess as to why Tesla didn’t go as well as it should. He only shared his concerns about Tesla’s performance in a market that is currently almost as large as China’s for electric vehicles.
“I EXPECTED TESLA’S EUROPEAN VOLUMES TO INCREASE IN 2020 AND NOT FALL, MAINLY BECAUSE FREMONT IS NO LONGER SUPPLYING MODEL 3S TO CHINA. THE EUROPEAN QUOTA SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER THAN 2019. “
The German market for electric vehicles is currently larger than that of California, as Schmidt Automotive Research revealed in a recent article.
“WITH A HUGE INCREASE IN SUBSIDIES ON THE TABLE IN GERMANY, TESLA SHOULD HAVE PERFORMED BETTER IN AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE MARKET THAT ENDED THE YEAR MUCH HIGHER THAN TESLA’S DOMESTIC CALIFORNIA MARKET.”
Tesla ended 2020 with 96,000 units sold in Europe, including the three vehicles it sells there: Model S, Model X and Model 3. Suppose the Model Y can sell as well as these three vehicles combined, this would give Giga Berlin a volume of 100,000 units at best.
For a factory that plans to produce 500,000 units per year, the Model Y may not be the right choice to start with. It could also result in the Model 3 having more local production there, but only the original car Tesla promised for the European market can allow Giga Berlin to reach the production volumes it is targeting.
Elon Musk has previously said Tesla likely needs a smaller sedan or SUV than the Model Y for the European market. With the performance it has shown there in 2020 – despite all the subsidies and in a much larger market than the United States for electric cars – it will likely need it right from the start.