BMW's CEO says Tesla will struggle to maintain its rapid growth because of mounting competition among electric-car makers

BMW's CEO says Tesla will struggle to maintain its rapid growth because of mounting competition among electric-car makers
BMW CEO Oliver Zipse and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.Sven Hoppe/Picture Alliance via Getty Images, Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images
  • Tesla may struggle to maintain its rapid growth as other carmakers launch their own EVs, Oliver Zipse said Monday.
  • "The rest of the industry is moving ahead big time," the BMW CEO said.
  • Tesla delivered almost 500,000 vehicles in 2020. Other automakers have committed to boosting electric-car sales.

Tesla may struggle to maintain its rapid growth as its competitors ramp up sales of their own electric vehicles, BMW's CEO said Monday.

Tesla delivered almost 500,000 vehicles in 2020, and said it expects "50% average annual growth" across the next few years.

"It won't be easy for Tesla to continue at that speed because the rest of the industry is moving ahead big time," BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said at the DLD All Stars conference Monday.
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Bloomberg first reported on the news.

Other automakers are increasingly scaling up their efforts to launch electric cars as the market continues to boom.

Zipse's company, BMW, started selling the Mini Electric in 2020, which is the lowest-cost electric car currently available in the US, Insider's Tim Levin reported.
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General Motors, the US' largest automaker, said it would end all sales of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 and would invest $27 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years.

Jaguar Land Rover, meanwhile, said it would go all-electric by 2039. Volkswagen's electric vehicle sales increased more than three-fold in 2020, and even Apple is reportedly building its own electric car. But despite the increased competition, analysts expect Tesla's sales to continue to boom.
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"With a green tidal wave on the horizon we believe Tesla will see strong growth in the US for 2021 and beyond and add to the white hot growth the company is seeing in China and Europe so far this year," Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said.

Tesla's success also depends on economic recovery from the pandemic. Its sales fell around 15% in the second half of 2020 as consumers cut back spending on cars during the pandemic.

But the company is ramping up efforts to make a more affordable electric car, which in turn could boost sales. In September, CEO Elon Musk said the company would make a $25,000 "fully autonomous" electric car in about three years, and last week Tesla slashed the prices of some of its vehicles.
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Sales in China, the world's largest car market, could be central to Tesla's success.

Tesla could deliver one million vehicles in 2022 because of "eye popping demand" from China, which could account for 40% of its global sales, Ives said in December. The country, where Tesla began delivering Shanghai-made Model Y vehicles in January, is the "heart and lungs" of Tesla's demand growth story, he said.

Tesla is also edging closer to launching operations in India later this year.
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"Over the next five years, we expect India's car market to double in size, with electric vehicles increasing their share," David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData, said.
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