Tesla may not have decades of rich automotive legacy and heritage but it does have a mass following in several markets. And despite the fact that it is present only in select countries, its electric vehicles (EVs) have become widely popular and acclaimed for both performance capabilities as well as technological highlights. Little wonder then that Tesla has a massive 18% share in the global EV sales, far, far ahead that its nearest rival - Volkswagen.
Volkswagen AG is one of world's largest car makers and represents brands such as Audi, Porsche and Skoda. Yet, Tesla has managed to steer ahead and steer clear of the German car maker as well as Chinese rivals to not just build a lead but extend it and hold on to it. While Volkswagen - minus its sub brands - has a 6% market share in global EV sales, Chinese auto maker BYD and BMW are joint second with it. Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi and Hyundai each have a 4% share.
But times are changing. Or at least it would seem like they will.
(Also read: Volvo says committed to full electric portfolio of EVs for India)
Even as Tesla digs in to increase its product portfolio, roll out discounts in key markets, establish more factories around the world and looks at the possibility of entering new markets - possibly India in 2021, rivals are doing their bit to shift to top gear and catch up.
(Related read: From Audi e-tron to Jaguar I-PACE, a look at luxury EVs coming to India in 2021)
Industry experts believe that the massive focus on electric technology from the giants of the auto industry could mean that they come out with a product offensive in a big way in key and new markets in the next few years. And while the battle may really be on making their products more affordable - something that is not entirely up to OEMs but also dependent on tax structures, the brand recognition factor could aid the traditional automotive giants in a big way. Some add that a focus on markets like India where Tesla is thus far absent could help OEMs that may consider bringing their smaller EVs.
India may still be at a nascent stage of a revolution in electric mobility but the focus on it is undeniable. Several luxury car makers have either already launched or confirmed plans of bringing in their electric products here. More affordable options are gradually finding more and more takers with the likes of Tata Motors, Hyundai and MG Motor each having an electric product. Even Mahindra and Mahindra has confirmed that deliveries of e-KUV100 will begin within the next three months, making it the most affordable EV in the country.
And while Tesla's lead is considerable and for good reason, the signs on a global scale are rather clear - car makers will go on the hunt, will go on the offensive and will gun to close the gap as it stands today.