Home / News / World /  Elon Musk: Tesla’s main competition will come from China

On a conference call with analysts following the release of Tesla's quarterly earnings, CEO Elon Musk predicted that the electric vehicle manufacturer’s largest rival will be a Chinese firm.

Even though manufacturing was hampered by China's now-abandoned Covid-Zero legislation, Tesla nonetheless produced more than 710,000 electric vehicles there in 2022, accounting for nearly 52% of its global output.

Due to shutdowns at Tesla's China facility, as well as greater borrowing costs and logistical challenges, 2022 was challenging, according to Musk. Without unforeseen setbacks, global production could reach two million vehicles in 2023, Musk said.

Also Read: Tesla reports $24.3 bn Q4 revenue, expects to boost EV deliveries by 37%

Following a previous wave of price reductions on Chinese-made Model Y and Model 3 EVs in October, Tesla has dropped pricing on its models in China, where it has a plant in Shanghai. Other automakers, including regional companies like Xpeng and Aito, funded by Huawei, have also disclosed price reductions in an effort to gain a stronger foothold in the largest EV market in the world.

BYD, the top EV manufacturer in China, outsold Tesla in 2022 when both plug-in hybrid and pure EV sales were taken into account.

Also Read: Musk says his SpaceX shares could have also helped fund taking Tesla private

The Tesla CEO described Chinese automakers as the most competitive in the world when asked about them, claiming that they "work the hardest and work the smartest". “If I were to guess," he said, “probably some company out of China is the most likely to be second to Tesla."

China has the most intense competition, Musk said during his call on January 25. He has previously expressed similar sentiments, most notably in September 2021 during an online discussion when he declared his admiration for the numerous Chinese automakers.

Tesla posted adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.19 per share, exceeding the $1.12 average analyst prediction, and reported revenue of $24.3 billion, exceeding market expectations.

Tesla's sales will increase by as much as 40% in 2023, and its Model Y will likely rank among the top three models of all types and become the world's best-selling EV, as per BloombergNEF estimates.

(With agency inputs)

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