Tesla sales decline in first quarter due to increased competition


Tesla, which is accustomed to fast growth, reported a decline in car sales during the first three months of the year as models from other automakers looked to gain ground.

The Elon Musk-led company said it delivered 387,000 cars worldwide in the first quarter, down 8.5 percent from 423,000 vehicles in the same period last year.

The sales decline is the latest sign that Tesla's dominance in the electric car market is declining. The company's shares have fallen 30 percent this year as investors worry the company is not doing enough to respond to growing competition.

In China, Tesla faces BYD and dozens of other rivals with ambitions to expand around the world. In Europe, established carmakers such as Volkswagen and BMW have introduced more attractive products. And in the United States, sales of electric cars are not growing as fast as they were a year ago.

BYD said earlier on Tuesday it sold about 300,000 electric vehicles, up 13 percent from the same period a year earlier. The company also sold 324,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles in the first quarter, up 15 percent from a year earlier.

Tesla introduced electric cars to the mass market, but its lineup is aging. Tesla's only completely new model since 2020 is the Cybertruck, a futuristic pickup that went on sale in limited numbers last year. Tesla says the least expensive version it can offer this year starts at around $80,000, which may well limit its appeal to early adopters.

Tesla is working on an electric car that will cost around $25,000, but the model is not expected to go on sale in large numbers until 2026. Meanwhile, Tesla is relying mostly on the Model Y sport utility vehicle and Model 3 sedan. Of its sale.

Tesla has repeatedly cut prices, but analysts say the strategy has hurt its profits without doing enough to encourage sales. The company recently slightly increased the prices of some cars in the United States and elsewhere.

Mr Musk has not given a clear indication of how the company plans to gain momentum. At the same time, his polarizing statements and support of right-wing conspiracy theories have alienated many left-leaning customers, who are most likely to buy electric cars.


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