The Tesla Model 3 could soon have some fierce new competitors in the form of an upcoming Mazda electronic vehicle, as well as a jointly-created electric vehicle from both Mazda and Toyota. The question will be whether the two automakers can work together to make affordable and energy efficient vehicles that also will generate a profit.
Profit is also the name of the game for Tesla, as they try to achieve just that. The latest news of these new Tesla competitors comes as the top-selling electric vehicle in the world recently underwent a redesign and was released to the masses. Can Tesla Motors compete with the likes of Nissan, Chevy, Mazda, and Toyota all bringing new creations to the electric vehicle market?
As Seeking Alpha reported on Thursday, it’s expected that Mazda will release their own electric vehicle (EV) in 2019 as a strong competitor to Tesla. The car will apparently utilize a similar “range-extending” technology as the BMW i3. In addition, it’s expected that there could be an EV that is jointly-designed and/or created by Mazda and Toyota together. This car could arrive by, or after, the year 2020. The two car manufacturers announced about a month ago that they’d soon begin building a new United States factory together, with part of their agreement saying the factory could be used to “jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles.”
It’s speculated that the two automakers are pulling their creative resources in order to compete with Tesla when it comes to producing electric vehicles at a good cost. Basically, the companies want to lower the cost of their electric cars as they usually take a loss on them due to the mandates certain states place on automakers. For example, in states such as California, automakers are forced to sell more EVs than the market demand calls for, which in turn forces the car maker to take a loss in selling, or trying to sell, more cars than necessary. California has what’s referred to as zero-emission vehicle or ZEV mandates, requiring a certain number of an automaker’s overall sales have to be zero emission vehicles.
There are a total of 10 states that have these particular mandates in place, making things tougher on automakers. However, with Toyota and Mazda putting their creative minds together to design a car by 2020 or later, it could help them lower costs and be more profitable. More sales of their new electric vehicles could cut into the overall sales of Tesla’s models, especially if Tesla cars are priced higher than consumers want to pay.
Mazda could also bring major competition due to the belief they generally create “good looking” cars. It’s noted that Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, was recruited from Mazda. There have been plenty of people who feel the Tesla Model 3 looks like the Mazda 3. It’s said that part of the reason Tesla has achieved the annual sales pace they have is due to the fact their cars look good. This could become the catalyst for whatever EV Mazda creates to also become a popular car.
The fact that other major automakers are getting into the electric vehicle space shows there is major competition for Tesla going forward. Just recently, the brand new version of the Nissan Leaf was unveiled. The Leaf was already the top-selling electric car in the world. As CNN Tech’s Peter Valdes-Dapena mentioned in his report, the car is a complete redesign of the car that was first brought out seven years ago and is now able to rival the price of the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt. The Leaf starts at $30,000, while the Bolt and Model 3 are each over $35,000 for their starting prices.
It’s been reported that the Chevrolet Bolt EV out-sold the Tesla Model 3 in August in a 28:1 ratio. The Bolt EV also out-sold the Tesla Model 3 and S combined for the months of July and August in the United States. With that said, with automakers like Toyota and Mazda getting involved, it appears the competition will only get stiffer for Tesla going forward. Can they unveil the quality electric vehicle to rival these others, or will they have to continue trying to catch up in the future?
The Motley Fool reported early last month that at least one analyst, Argus Research, believes Tesla can become profitable thanks to the Model 3. The basis for their optimism is the strong order activity “without any advertising or marketing.” Argus also believes that Tesla can lower their labor and overhead costs over the next year as they try to meet the increased demand for vehicles. That said, it seems Tesla will really need to find a way to rival the creations of more established automakers with more affordable EVs that perform just about as well.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]