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

Elon Musk, an early investor and CEO of Tesla, is the major shareholder with 21.7% of stocks. Other major shareholders comprise investment firms like Baillie Gifford & Co. (7.7%), FMR LLC (5.3%), Capital Ventures International (5.2%), T. Rowe Price Associates (5.2%), and Capital World Investors (5%). Another major individual shareholder is Larry Ellison (co-founder and CEO of Oracle), with a 1.7% stake.
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.
Tesla made over $24.5 billion in revenues, and it lost $69 million from operations, while its net losses were $862 million. In Q4 2019, Tesla turned a profit for the first time. And its main market is still the US.

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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Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"