Tesla Competitors

As an electric automaker and builder of sports cars and now trucks, Tesla’s competitors comprise companies like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, Rivian Lucid Motors, Toyota, and more. At the same time, Tesla is an electric energy production and storage company (SolarCity); it competes with Sunrun, SunPower, and Vivint Solar. And as an autonomous driving company, it competes with companies like Zoox, Waymo, and Baidu with the self-driving software.

Breaking down Tesla competitors

Tesla isn’t just an automaker; it is an electric-only car automaker, an electric storage company, and an autonomous driving player. For that, we’ll have to analyze Tesla from these three perspectives.


Within the automaking segment, Tesla has over the years diversified its products’ lines, to cover different segments of the market. When Tesla entered the market, as a go-to-market strategy it had to enter it (nonetheless Elon Musk’s long-term vision to make the electric car available to the masses) with the Roadster model.


While this model is still available, this is the highest-priced model and the product Tesla used to bootstrap its operations. Indeed, at the time, Tesla couldn’t produce a lower-cost electric car (Model 3 will finally achieve this goal), and that is how Tesla made its business model viable as it entered the new market for electric cars. This is what I call a transitional business model:

A transitional business model is used by companies to enter a market (usually a niche) to gain initial traction and prove the idea is sound. The transitional business model helps the company secure the needed capital while having a reality check. It helps shape the long-term vision and a scalable business model.

Over the years, as the market matures, Tesla grew, an electric ecosystem was born, and the technology to enhance battery performance improved, Tesla also expanded its products’ lines to cover the various segments.

Sport & Performance

The primary models covering this segments are:

  • Roadster: here some of the competitors are Dodge Challenger, Porsche Chiron, and Bugatti
  • Model S: in this segment, Tesla competes with players like Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Porsche Panamera, Audi A7 & A8 and more.


The primary models covering this segments are:

  • Model X: here some of the competitors are BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Volvo XC90, Porsche Cayenne.
  • Model Y (compact SUV): in this segment, Tesla competes with Renault Zoe, Nissan LEAF, Volksvagen e-Golf, Audi e-tron and more.


In this segment, Tesla just launched the Cybertruck:


Cybertruck’s competitors comprise Rivian, Ford, Bollinger.

City Car

Tesla has finally its mass-market product, the Model 3. This model competes with models such as BMW Series 2,3,4,5 Mercedes Class C, CLA, CLS, Audi A3, A4, A5, Lexus, ES, GS, and many others.

Energy Storage

Tesla acquired SolarCity back in 2016, for $2.6 billion, and with that, it competes in the electric production and storage industry with players like SunRun, SunPower, Vivint Sonar, Trinity Solar, and SolarWorld to mention a few.

Autonomous driving

Tesla’s Autopilot is one of the key ingredients of its technology and one of the most interesting future developments for the company. In this segment, Tesla competes with other autonomous driving companies like Zoox (bought by Amazon), Waymo (an Alphabet bet), and Baidu.

More on Tesla

By 2021, most of Tesla’s shares are still owned by Elon Musk, among the company’s co-founders and currently the CEO. Elon Musk is the top individual investor, with a 23.1% stake in the company, equivalent to over 244 million shares. Musk is followed by Lawrence Ellison (founder of Oracle), with a 1.5% company’s stake. Ellison also sits on Tesla’s board. And Antonio Gracias, among the company’s first investors, has over 1.6 million shares of the company. Other institutional investors and mutual funds like The Vanguard Group, Blackrock, and Capital Ventures International also have a good chunk of the company’s stocks.
Tesla’s vision is to “create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world’s transition to electric vehicles,” while its mission is “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible.” Tesla used a transitional business model as its ecosystem grows.
Tesla is vertically integrated. Therefore, the company runs and operates the Tesla’s plants where cars are manufactured and the Gigafactory which produces the battery packs and stationary storage systems for its electric vehicles, which are sold via direct channels like the Tesla online store and the Tesla physical stores.
Among the most recognized car manufacturers, Tesla is valued more than the combined market capitalization of GM and Ford. While the company’s direct distribution is a strength, its lack of financial viability is a weakness. Competition is a future threat. However, if Tesla defines a new market for car manufacturing its potential growth will be massive.
In 2021, Tesla generated over $53.8 billion in revenues, compared to the $31.5 billion in 2020. The largest segment in the automotive sales (comprising regulatory credits revenues), followed by leasing (as part of the automotive), generated $1.6 billion in 2021. Outside the automotive sales, services (non-warranty after-sales vehicle services, sales of used vehicles, retail merchandise, and more) accounted for $3.8 billion. And energy generation and storage accounted for $2.8 billion. US and China are the primary markets, with almost $24 billion and nearly $14 billion respectively, in 2021. In 2021, Tesla generated $5.6 billion in Net Income, a net margin of over 10%.

Read Also: Tesla Business ModelTesla SWOT AnalysisTransitional Business ModelsTesla Mission Statement.

Related: Who Owns Ferrari, Who Owns Volkswagen, Who Owns Bugatti.

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