Tesla Overtake GM Sales, 2023
Jeremy Johnson's picture

Tesla To Overtake GM in Sales in 2023

Tesla, an all electric vehicle maker, will overtake General Motors (GM), in vehicle sales in 2023. This is with GM producing mostly gas powered cars and Tesla producing all electric cars. Let's see how this will happen.

Tesla to Surpass GM in Sales by 2023

Gary Black makes a good argument here. If there is one thing to correct, it is that he is stating GM sales for just the U.S. GM sold about 6.8 million vehicles worldwide in 2020. If you divide that by 4, you get 1.7 million/quarter. That's quite a bit more than 447,000/quarter. Still, GM experienced a 33% drop year over year in the U.S., and this is likely going to affect global sales as well.

In 2023, I expect Tesla to surpass a 2 million vehicle per year run rate. In fact, I see Tesla getting to nearly 2.8 million vehicles that year, worldwide. By 2025, I expect Tesla to get to 8.5 million vehicles worldwide. By my calculations, Tesla will eclipse GM in worldwide sales in Q1 or Q2, 2025. This will happen quicker if GM isn't able to salvage its situation and start selling more electric vehicles, which I don't see happening. It took Tesla about 8 years of actually delivering electric vehicles to become profitable doing it.

GM sold 6.8 million vehicles worldwide in 2020. With sales in the U.S. being less than they were last year, it's tough to say what sales figures will look like for 2021. When I looked over the Q3, 2021 sales press release from GM, it was hard to see a number for worldwide deliveries - just the U.S. was mentioned... I'm not sure they will do better than 6.8 million vehicles worldwide this year.

When the chip shortage eases up next year, electric vehicles are going to be very close to parity on price overall with gas cars.

Tesla Growth This Decade

To truly see ahead, we must take the average increase in deliveries per quarter for Tesla over the last couple years and project that rate of increase going forward. I see no reason to see a slow down in Tesla as electric vehicles continue to improve, reach price parity and then even better than gas powered cars, and Tesla continues to release new models like the CyberTruck and Model 2, along with new giga factories like Giga Berlin and Giga Texas. I won't even calculate robotaxi's in this growth.

Tesla has historically grown just over 16% on average per quarter over the last two and a half years. I'm going to round this down to 15% and project growth going forward. Some quarters may be more and some less when actual numbers come, but I believe this estimate will give a good idea of the future of where Tesla is going.

Tesla Delivery Growth Estimate, at about 15% growth per quarter average

Yearly Deliveries Year Quarter Quarter Deliveries
359,048 2019 1 63,000
2 87,048
3 97,000
4 112,000
498,920 2020 1 88,400
2 90,650
3 139,300
4 180,570
904,845 2021 1 184,800
2 201,250
3 241,300
4 277,495
1,593,482 2022 1 319,119
2 366,987
3 422,035
4 485,340
2,787,010 2023 1 558,142
2 641,863
3 738,142
4 848,864
4,874,498 2024 1 976,193
2 1,122,622
3 1,291,015
4 1,484,668
8,525,528 2025 1 1,707,368
2 1,963,473
3 2,257,994
4 2,596,693

After 2025, the results start to get pretty staggering, with Tesla getting to almost 80 million vehicles produced in 2029. It's tough to say how things are going to play out at that point, but bet on Tesla continuing to innovate with extreme urgency.

Will Anybody Catch Up To Tesla?

For anyone to catch up to Tesla, they are going to have to make comparable models and features, along with safety and technology. Why would someone pay more for a car that does less? That doesn't satisfy the inherit self interest that each human has.

One things is for certain, I'm excited to see how this decade plays out. Will Tesla remain untouched? If so, I'm worried about the future of Legacy Automakers like Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Volkswagen. On the other hand, if those companies can innovate and offer unique value, there's a chance they might make it. Time will tell.

What do you think of Tesla's growth going forward? Will other auto makers catch up? Will Tesla surpass GM over the next few years in sales?

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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.

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Tesla's reporting of global deliveries in an industry that uniformly reports deliveries by market is working as planned. People are comparing Tesla's global sales to the sales of other automakers in just one of many markets they serve. And of course, assuming that the competition will stand still.
Great analysis, couldn't find a thing to argue. Being a Tesla bull kind of makes it easier I think because the normal skepticism a hyper growth phenomena might inspire is pretty much already dissipated by watching and following Tesla's incredible story. I see the Big 3 (soon to be little 3?) continuing their downward spirals so they will be in the rear view mirror by 2025 when Tesla challenges VW's and Toyota's global numbers.
Keep dreaming!