Producing cars in series and in large numbers is not an easy task. The last one that is suffering from it in the flesh is Lucid Motors, but Tesla also knows something about it. There was a time when Elon Musk’s promises seemed unattainable quarter after quarter because production could not be scaled at the desired pace, a tortuous path that has cost the company more than one headache. There was a time when the figure of half a million cars was the goal to beat, something that is now far behind. Tesla already talks about manufacture 2 million electric cars a yeara figure that would position it very high in the industry.
Elon Musk’s statements have always had a mixture of optimism, bombast and a hint of haughtiness. After all, there was a time when you had to keep the company afloat as it was, as well as the price of its shares. With the passage of time and the stabilization of the company, everything begins to take a different turn. Equally ambitious but more sensible, shall we say. At the company’s last annual meeting of shareholders, Elon Musk said that Tesla aims to reach a production rate of 2 million vehicles per year by the end of 2022.
According to the president and CEO of the company, Tesla has already currently reached a production rate of 1.5 million cars per year. And far from shrinking, it will not stop growing: the Gigafactory in Germany is still in its infancy and the one in Texas is working at 20-50% of its planned capacity for the end of this year. Although production peaks of 5,000 cars per week have been reached, regular production at the Texas Gigafactory is around 2,000 cars per week. The forecast for the end of this year is to reach 10,000 units per week.
For their part, the Fremont and Shanghai plants are working at full capacity, although there are also plans to make them grow. When the latest improvements are completed, the Shanghai Gigafactory will be producing around 3,000 cars a day. According to Elon Musk, “Depending on how the rest of this year goes, I think we’re going to approach or hit roughly the 1.5 million mark, and end the year at a rate of 2 million units.”
Scaling production will depend, on the one hand, on the company’s ability to continue increasing production in its currently largest factories (Fremont and Shanghai). And on the other hand, that the problems in the supply chain do not worsen. That Tesla has reached a production rate of 1.5 million cars per year does not mean that it will end this year with that number of cars sold, although it should not take long to achieve it. During the shareholders meeting, Elon Musk recalled that ten years ago Tesla was barely capable of producing 3,000 vehicles. Just a few days ago he made his car number 3 million.
Elon Musk and Tesla are already talking about making 2 million cars a year, all electric of course. A figure that, if materialized, would position it among the best-selling car brands in the world, and very close to Mercedes-Benz and BMW. As a certain politician would say: It’s not a minor thing.
Who are the biggest car manufacturers in the world and how much do they sell?
Ok, but what are the biggest car manufacturers? What brands sell more cars? Last year Toyota was the world’s largest car manufacturer, with 10.5 million cars sold worldwide including the Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino Motors brands. Of the above total, Toyota and Lexus were guilty to sell 9.6 million cars globally. 10.6% more than the previous year, by the way.
In second position, at a notable distance from Toyota, was the Volkswagen group with 8.9 million vehicles sold worldwide during 2021. However, the German group includes the figures of a large set of brands and various types of vehicles, including more than 270,000 trucks (MAN, Scania and Navistar belong to the group). Obviously the brand with the highest volume is Volkswagen Passenger Cars, which delivered 2,719,000 cars last yearfollowed by Audi which sold 1,009,000 cars and Skoda with 784,000 units.
Behind Toyota and the Volkswagen Group, these were the largest car manufacturers in 2021:
- Stellantis: 6,583,269 units sold
- General Motors: 6,291,000
- Honda: 4,136,018
- Nissan: 4,065,014
- Ford: 3,942,000
- Hyundai 3,890,981
- Kia: 2,777,056
- Renault Group (Renault, Dacia and Alpine): 2,690,000
- BMW (make, not group): 2,213,795
- Mercedes-Benz (cars): 2,054,962
As you can see, the figure of 2 million is close to the sales achieved by Mercedes-Benz and BMW last year. If we count it by groups, it stays out of the top ten. If we consider brandstwo million cars sold make you enter fully among the best sellers of the world. And considering that all of Tesla’s cars are electric, it will reinforce its position as the world’s largest electric car maker, a distinction that Tesla seems to have guaranteed for a while.