For the first time, the best-selling electric car in the world is the Tesla Model Y

Between now and then, Tesla has been on a rollercoaster ride. On the one hand, the American concern managed to take Toyota’s place in the best-selling car in the world. Thus, Model Y sold 1.23 million copies in 2023, far ahead of the Japanese brand’s Rav4 (1.07 million units). According to Jato Dynamics, it is also the first time an electric vehicle has topped the global sales chart.

This year, sales of the Model Y jumped 64% over the previous year. Increase “unprecedented, especially for vehicles in the passenger car segment,” commented Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics. And that’s thanks to discounts throughout the year. This car dominates the European market and the Chinese market, the largest in the world. It is currently manufactured in Texas, California, China and from 2022 in Berlin.

With this performance, the group’s total sales jumped 35% compared to 2022 to 1.85 million electric vehicles and generated a turnover of $96.773 billion, up 19% from 2022.

A short-lived celebration as the US company is now down 9% on the stock market after presenting its annual results.

A $50 billion loss in value

Especially since its stock is already down 16.4% at its last close this month. If the losses continue, Elon Musk’s company could lose roughly $50 billion in market value.

Two factors are to blame. First, while the group has increased its revenue, it has also seen its margins decline. Its operating margin thus fell from 16.8% to 9.2%. Gross margin fell 6 points to 17.6% in the latest quarter, while the consensus was 18.3%, according to data from London Stock Exchange Group. Tesla’s quarterly revenue also rose just 3% to $25.17 billion, falling short of consensus expectations of $25.62 billion. This is the weakest growth in more than three years.

Tesla attributed the financial results to increased operating costs due in part to AI and other research and development projects, as well as costs to launch the Cybertruck at the end of the year.

The American manufacturer is also suffering from its 2024 targets announced last night. ” THE the growth rate of vehicle volume could be significantly lower than the growth rate achieved in 2023 “, he declared. Situation error between two waves of growth »: the first is due to the introduction of the Model Y and Model 3, which are already 4 and 6 years old, respectively, and the second wave, which would start with a new generation vehicle platform.

Competition with BYD

Before that, Tesla will also have to face strong competition in the electricity market. In the last quarter, the company was overtaken by the Chinese manufacturer BYD. The latter also announced the construction of a factory in Hungary, its first on the old continent, which will allow it to gain strength in Europe and take on Tesla in this coveted market.

“Tesla’s problem is that any significant attempt to increase sales from now on is likely to have to come at the cost of further declines in operating margins due to competition with BYD in China, as well as increases elsewhere,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, told Reuters.

Tesla’s valuation, which is currently listed as a technology company and not like other car companies, could become difficult to justify if revenue growth and margins weaken, according to some analysts.

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