Tech

Tesla’s Aura Dims as Its Plunging Stock Highlights the Risks It Faces

Tesla shares are reacting in part to the same forces that are roiling stock markets around the world: war in Ukraine, rising interest rates, the threat of recession, supply chain chaos and surging inflation. But Tesla shares have fallen much more than other Silicon Valley giants like Apple or Alphabet, the company that owns Google.

Tesla accounted for three-quarters of the electric cars sold in the United States last year. The company is several years ahead of competitors in battery technology and software. But two models — the Model 3 sedan and Model Y sport utility vehicle — accounted for 95 percent of Tesla’s sales. Its next consumer vehicle, a pickup truck, has been delayed many times and is not expected until next year at the earliest.

It’s an axiom in the car industry that new models fuel sales. And competition from the likes of Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen is growing, offering drivers many more choices.

Jesse Toprak, an auto industry veteran who is chief analyst at Autonomy, a company that offers electric cars by subscription, said that Tesla’s market share will fall below 40 percent by the end of 2023, though its sales will continue to grow as the overall market expands.

“They will have a smaller share of a larger pot,” Mr. Toprak said. “But their near-monopoly on E.V. sales in the U.S. will slowly diminish.”

Tesla already faces tough competition in Europe, where electric vehicles account for 13 percent of new car sales. That foreshadows what could happen in the United States, where sales of battery-powered cars are just beginning to take off. Volkswagen, which has invested heavily in electric vehicles, sold 56,000 battery-powered cars in Western Europe during the first three months of the year, just behind Tesla, which sold 58,000, according to figures compiled by Schmidt Automotive Research in Berlin.

Tesla’s ability to serve the European market will improve as a new factory near Berlin ramps up production. In the United States and elsewhere, the company has benefited from fanatically loyal buyers who regard Mr. Musk as a visionary and are willing to wait months or years for the company’s cars.

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