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Is the New Tesla Model Y Ready for the Growing Competition it's up Against?

Is the New Tesla Model Y Ready for the Growing Competition it's up Against?

Author: Manish Kharinta   

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk got in hot water on social media for his recent comments on the coronavirus outbreak and his unfounded suggestion to use the malaria drug Chloroquine to treat it. AS expected, his suggestion brought strong criticism. Now it seems it seems Musk's Twitter feed might not be the only thing struggling to keep up with the fallout of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Nationwide deliveries of the much-awaited Tesla Model Y crossover began just before the shelter-in-place orders were mandated, which slowed down the handovers of Tesla's newest electric vehicle. 

Tesla even rolled out a "touchless" delivery initiative in limited locations to help get the Model Y to customers to no avail. Auto sales fell off a cliff for the Month of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, Tesla delivered around 88,400 units worldwide in the first quarter of 2020, which is much better than the 63,000 the company delivered in the first quarter of 2019. 

However, if you thought Tesla's struggle to deliver the Model Y to customers couldn't possibly get any worse, take a closer look at the scale of competition the new electric crossover is going up against.

The popularity of the SUV and crossover segment is at an all-time high and the auto industry is witnessing a shift in consumer preferences, as more buyers opt for more utilitarian offerings instead of smaller, more practical alternatives. And the auto industry is eager to build them.

To match the demand for SUVs and crossovers, more mainstream automakers are introducing fully-electric EVs, therefore the competition for Tesla Model Y is picking up fast. German premium car manufacturer Audi for example, will soon be introducing two highly anticipated electric models—the e-tron Sportback and the Q4 e-tron.

Meanwhile in China, which is the world's biggest auto market and an important one for Tesla, the M-Byte SUV from EV startup Byton will battle Tesla Model Y for market share. 

Other prominent carmakers are also throwing their hats in the ring with new electric models, including the Ford Mach-E, Volvo XC40, Mazda MX-30, BMW iX3, and Nissan Ariya. All of these vehicles will be Model Y's key rivals in the electric crossover segment.

Right now, the two EVs that pose the biggest threat for Model Y in the electric crossover space are the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV. Both South Korea-based sister companies have reported high demand for the two electric offerings. Both vehicles have long waiting lists since the two automakers are not producing them in large numbers just yet.

As for other future contenders, German automaker Volkswagen AG will soon be introducing its own fully-electric crossover called the ID.4. After its initial apprehensions about its electric future, VW is now charging ahead with its bold electrification plans. The company announced that by 2025 it aims to build 1.5 million EVs worldwide. 

In addition, if the VW ID.4 delivers on its 310-mile range promise, the crossover will directly be gunning for Model Y's customer base. ID.4 drivers will also benefit by gaining access to Volkswagen's Electrify America EV charging network, a coast-to-coast network of EV charging sites.

U.S. automaker Ford will introduce its Mustang-inspired Mach-E electric crossover later this year. The Standard Range Mach-E will offer 210 miles of range, which is only 20 miles less than the range of the standard range Model Y. 

If Ford is able to price its new EV competitively, the Mach-E it might become a strong competitor to the Tesla Model Y, so Tesla still has some work to do to keep the competition at bay.


Manish Kharinta
Manish Kharinta
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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