2 signs "Tesla Killer" theory may already be dead

It is easier to win a game when playing without an opponent. And that is largely the position Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has found itself in, especially in the US market. Early rivals in the competition for the electric vehicle like General Motors Chevy Bolt and Nissan The magazine was smaller and frankly not as cool.

But new all-electric offers from Porsche (OTC: POAHY) and a Mustang-inspired crossover SUV from Ford were cause for concern. It may be easy for an ultra-cool Tesla to stomp a subcompact hatchback, but can the Model S and Model 3 hold their own against a classic German luxury brand or an American icon?

Early signs suggest that yes, it may be able to do just that.

  A Tesla Model S at sunset

Top electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has had little direct competition in the US Image source: Tesla. [1[ads1]9659008] First in the ring

The first car to be hyped while in development as a potential "Tesla killer" has been unveiled: Porsche Taycan. In August, it set an unofficial electric car track record on Germany's 16.12-kilometer Nürburgring racing track in 7 minutes, 42 seconds. And when a picture of a Taycan running past a broken Tesla Model S prototype – which had also come to try its luck on the famous track – appeared as if it turned out to be fierce competition.

However, the prototype version of the Model S "Plaid" in September set a new electric car Nuerburgring record of 7 minutes, 23 seconds, and beat Taycan by almost 20 seconds. Now there are a number of warnings at these times, not least as these were both prototype vehicles, and it is more a car than how fast it can go. In terms of raw performance, however, Tesla is no pushover.

Also in terms of reach, the Model S seems to outperform the German rival. The US EPA states that a Tesla Model S "Long Range" (base model) has a range of 370 miles. A European ranking system, the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WTLP), approves Taycan with a range of just 279 miles, according to Porsche. While not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, it looks like Taycan doesn't want the range of a Model S.

Most important to consumers, the Taycan base model – Turbo – starts with a jaw dropping 150,900 US dollars (after all, it's still a Porsche). It's almost twice as expensive as the base model of the Model S (currently retailing at $ 79,990). Even in the world of luxury cars, there is a price difference large enough to deter many buyers. Taycan seems unlikely to eat into Tesla's sales significantly.

Up to (re) sale

List prices on cars can only tell you so much. A better measure of the value of a brand is what the cars can command at resale. Generally speaking, the more desirable the vehicle, the higher the price a used can command.

That has certainly been true in the United States for Tesla, where the Tesla Model S has retained a greater percentage of its value than other class cars, according to a study by Autolist. The study indicates that a used Model X with more than 50,000 miles on it will lose an average of 23% of its value. The Model S does just a little worse and loses 27% of its value (Model 3 is still too new to get enough resale data). Meanwhile, petrol-powered vehicles lose an average of about 36% of value after 50,000 miles.

Now we have evidence that Tesla is also outperforming other electric car manufacturers on this front, thanks to a new report on the Chinese Electric Vehicle Resale Market from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. There are many non-Tesla electrical appliances available in China, including Roewe's ERX5 SUV and Denza 500 sedan. Denza is a joint venture between Daimler & # 39; s Mercedes and the Chinese car manufacturer BYD.

In China, Tesla absolutely crushed the value retention competition, losing only between 23.8% (Model X) and 25.9% (Model S) of value when used, compared to 52.6% for ERX5 and 54.1% for Denza, the closest competitors.

It is now possible that this is due to Tesla's experienced superior battery life. But perceived out-competition is a component of brand strength, and the data here seems to indicate that the Tesla brand can hold its own and then some against other EV manufacturers.

Danger comes from within

None of this is evidence that competition will not hurt Tesla's sales. With so many of the world's largest car manufacturers looking at the electric vehicle, it's probably only a matter of time before one of them hits a winning formula for a full-size vehicle, at an attractive price. At the moment, there doesn't seem to be much danger of a competing "Tesla killer" running it off the shelf.

That said, there are many other concerns for Tesla and its investors, including the company's lack of consistent profitability and margin contracting when cheaper Model 3 sells out more expensive Model S and Model X. Unless management can solve these internal problems, The "Tesla killer" turns out to be Tesla himself.

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