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EV rivals are catching up to Elon Musk

STORY: Elon Musk will face a critical test at Tesla’s Investor Day on March 1…

Convincing shareholders that the electric vehicle pioneer can hold its lead as rivals are catching up.

Tesla was the number 1 EV maker worldwide in 2022.

But a Reuters analysis of global and regional EV sales data show that others like China’s BYD are closing the gap fast.

In fact, BYD passed Tesla in EV sales last year in the Asia-Pacific region, while Volkswagen has been the leader in Europe since 2020.

While Tesla is closing ground with VW’s lead in Europe, it saw a drop in sales in the U.S. as competition heats up.

The most significant challenges to Tesla are coming from established automakers and a group of Chinese EV manufacturers.

Over the next two years, rivals including GM, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and VW will unleash scores of new EVs, from a Chevrolet priced below $30,000 to luxury models that top $100,000.

Musk has said he will use Investor Day to outline his “Master Plan Part 3” – nearly seven years after “Master Plan Part Deux” – during which time Tesla pulled ahead of established automakers and EV startups in important areas of EV design, digital features, and manufacturing.

Though earlier in February, federal regulators compelled Tesla to revise its “Full Self Driving Beta” software under a recall order.

Still, rivals are copying the company’s production technology and buying some of the same equipment Tesla uses.

The company has promised investors that they will soon be able to see their most advanced production line yet, though, Musk has been coy on weather Tesla could make money on a $25,000-$30,000 vehicle in the U.S. – the EV industry’s Holy Grail.