Hyundai overtakes GM, however Tesla’s dominance within the US stays

A Tesla Model Y is seen at a Tesla car lot in Austin, Texas on May 31, 2023. Tesla’s Model Y has become the world’s best-selling car in the first quarter of 2023.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

DETROIT – Legacy automakers continue to promise big increases in production and sales of battery electric vehicles, but their efforts to date have done little to transform the much-hyped emerging market.

Industry leader despite significant sales increases compared to the previous year Tesla remains the top seller of electric vehicles and has widened its lead over legacy automakers. It is around 300,000 units ahead of its closest competitors Hyundai engine And General Motors according to Motor Intelligence in the first half of this year. In comparison, the gap in the first half of 2022 was around 225,000.

The auto data company reports that Tesla, which doesn’t disclose sales by region, sold an estimated 336,892 vehicles to retail and fleet buyers in the U.S. in the first half, up 30% year over year.

Meanwhile, Hyundai — including the Kia brand owned by the same parent company — increased its electric sales by around 11% to 38,457 units during the period. GM, which ranked second in electric car sales for the first quarter, more than quadrupled its electric car and truck sales through June year-over-year, reaching 36,322 units. And Volkswagen has more than doubled electric vehicle sales to 26,538 units sold through June.

ford engine, According to Motor Intelligence, the company, which ranked second in electric vehicle sales last year behind Tesla, ranked in the top five with sales of 25,709 vehicles through June. Ford’s electric-vehicle sales rose just 12% year over year as the automaker took downtime to convert some plants, such as a Mexican plant producing its Mustang Mach-E electric crossover.

“Our electric vehicle sales continue to grow. Improved Mustang Mach-E inventory flow was evident at the end of the second quarter following our plant rebuild earlier in the year, which helped Mustang Mach-E sales soar 110% in June,” said Andrew Frick, Ford Vice President of Sales, Distribution and Trucks, said in a sales statement on Thursday.

Tesla sales

Tesla’s 30% year-over-year sales growth in the first half was driven by the startup and ramp-up of production at a new plant in Texas. However, this was not enough to keep up with the overall growth of the electric vehicle market.

According to Motor Intelligence data, Tesla’s market share of U.S. EV sales is down nearly 10 percentage points year over year and accounts for 60% of domestic EV sales.

Tesla’s decline in market share is due to more competitors entering the field, resulting in overall market growth. U.S. EV sales through June were up about 50% compared to the first half of 2022.

Both old car manufacturers and newer companies such as e.g Rivian Automotivehave attempted to ramp up production of all-electric vehicles, but many of their production volumes remain low. Apart from the top slots, according to Motor Intelligence, only five others have a US market share between 1% and 4%. Many others are below 1%.

Tesla’s global deliveries totaled more than 889,000 electric vehicles in the first half of the year, including 466,140 vehicles in the second quarter. Production is expected to continue growing as Tesla aims to produce at least 1.8 million electric vehicles in 2023.

CEO Elon Musk has told shareholders that the Texas plant should be the highest-volume auto plant in the US once it is fully ramped up. Last year, Musk said the Texas plant aims to produce half a million vehicles annually by the end of 2023.

Hyundai rises, GM disappoints

Hyundai’s second place is particularly notable given that its vehicles are not eligible for federal EV tax incentives of up to $7,500 unless they are leased. These complex incentives are designed to benefit EVs manufactured in North America. Hyundai electric vehicles are currently imported from overseas.

The South Korea-based automaker has taken advantage of the leasing loophole under the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. Hyundai Motor America CEO Randy Parker said the Hyundai brand has increased the leasing percentage of its electric vehicles from about 2% earlier this year to now more than 30%.

“It’s not a level playing field and we’re certainly not happy about it. But those are the cards that were dealt, and we’re trying to play those cards as best as we can,” Parker said Wednesday during a press call with reporters.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 will be on display at the April 13, 2022 New York Auto Show.

Scott Mill | CNBC

GM’s electric car sales have been disappointing so far, especially when it comes to new models powered by the automaker’s “Ultium” battery technology. The automaker has been criticized for not ramping up production of its latest electric vehicles, including the GMC Hummer and Cadillac Lyriq, quickly enough.

The vast majority of GM’s electric car sales for the first six months of the year were for the legacy Chevrolet Bolt models, which will be discontinued later this year.

GM CEO Mary Barra reiterated at the Aspen Ideas Festival last week that the company’s production of new electric vehicles is being constrained because domestic production of its batteries is taking longer than expected.

Barra said GM plans to overtake Tesla in sales by mid-decade, as the automaker launches other mainstream electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado, Blazer and Equinox later this year. Also in 2023, the company is releasing a new $300,000-plus electric van and a custom Cadillac electric vehicle called the Celestiq.

The Detroit-based automaker has announced plans to produce 150,000 electric vehicles for the US market this year.

— CNBC’s Phil LeBeau and Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

Disclosure: The NBCUniversal News Group, of which CNBC is a part, is the media partner of the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Correction: GM was second in electric vehicle sales in the first quarter of this year. In an earlier version of this article, this time frame was incorrectly stated

Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO, speaks during the unveiling of the Cadillac Celestiq electric sedan October 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Frederic J Brown | AFP | Getty Images

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