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Elon Musk Says Tesla's Closest EV Competitor Won't Emerge From US — But This Country

By Shanthi Rexaline,


Tesla Inc. TSLA is the frontrunner in the electric vehicle race, although its global market share has eroded amid competition from upstarts and legacy automakers transitioning to EVs.

What Happened: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Musk said he wasn't really able to look into the future and predict right now which company with a general solution for self-driving could be a distant second. His reply came in response to a question from Canaccord Genuity analyst George Gianarikas. The analyst asked Musk about the EV competitive landscape five years down the line.

Musk, however, suggested that this scenario wouldn't last forever, and in five years’ time, probably somebody would have figured it out.

“I don’t think it’s any of the car companies that we’re aware of. But I’m just guessing that someone might be right out eventually, so yes,” Musk added.

When CFO Zachary Kirkhorn brought up the name of Chinese carmakers in this regard, Musk concurred and said he has a lot of respect for car companies in China. He commended them for being the most competitive in the world.

“They work the hardest and they work the smartest, that's so for the China car companies that we're competing against,” he said.

“And so we would guess, there is probably some company out of China as the most likely to be second to Tesla.”

Why It’s Important: Tesla, which once had a dominant market share in China, has now been threatened by domestic upstarts such as Warren Buffett-backed BYD Manufacturing Company Limited BYDDY BYDDF, Nio Inc. NIO and Li Auto Inc. LI. BYD, in particular, has been consistently more than doubling its deliveries from a year ago and pursuing international expansion.

Tesla bulls see the need for the company to have a sub-$30,000 car in China to compete against the competitively priced cars of Chinese EV startups.

Price Action: In premarket trading on Thursday, Tesla shares were up 7.13%, at $154.70, according to Benzinga Pro data.

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