Tesla, the industry leader for electric vehicles, is facing increased challenges from competitive EV automakers in the US, such as Ford (F) – Get Free Report, General Motors (GM) – Get Free Report, Volkswagen (VWAGY) – Get Free Report and Hyundai (HYMTF) , as well as up and coming players like Polestar (PSNYW) , NIO (NIO) – Get Free Report, Honda (HMC) – Get Free Report and Toyota (TM) – Get Free Report. And, of course, it has tough competition from its Chinese rival BYD (BYDDY) .
Toyota Motor Corp., which has been slow to enter the EV industry, in April made a commitment to jump into the all-electric vehicle market by launching 10 new EV models by 2026. It said it would have an annual production rate of 1.5 million electric vehicles in three years.
Toyota Challenges Tesla
The Japanese automaker challenged Tesla in the SUV and crossover market when it on April 18 unveiled two battery electric vehicle concept models at the Auto Shanghai show that will compete with the leading EV producer’s Model X SUV.
A joint venture of Toyota and Shenzen, China-based BYD BYDDY rolled out the bZ Sport Crossover Concept, in partnership with FAW Toyota Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing China. The vehicle will be produced and sold by FAW Toyota in China.
Toyota has also teamed with Guangzhou, China-based Guangzhou Automobile Group, GAC Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., and TMEC, to produce the bZ FlexSpace Concept, family-oriented SUV-type BEV, focusing on utility. GAC Toyota Motor will produce and sell the vehicle in China.
Toyota said the two new models will be launched in the China market in 2024, but did not indicate when the vehicles might be offered for sale in the US. No suggested manufacturer’s retail price was listed either.
Tesla is not only the leading electric vehicle manufacturer in the world, it also claimed the title of having the “quickest car in the world,” with its second generation Roadster sportscar that has yet to go into production.
The limited edition Roadster Founders Series, however, is sold out. Tesla stopped taking reservations in December after collecting the full $250,000 price on 1,000 units. Tesla fans can still place orders for the standard Roadster with a $50,000 payment for the $200,000 vehicle.
Toyota revealed during its annual report presentation on May 10 that by 2026 it would produce two luxury sedans, two three-row SUVs, a multi-purpose pickup truck IMV BEV and a sportscar in either the Toyota or Lexus platform that would compete with Tesla.
Toyota, Suzuki, Daihatsu Team for New EVs
Toyota is gaining a reputation of forming partnerships to launch EVs, and on May 17 the company said it will team with Japanese rivals Suzuki Motor Corp. (SZKMY) and Daihatsu (DHTMY) to develop a battery electric vehicle system for a new generation of mini-commercial electric vans that would compete with Ford’s E-Transit, GM’s BrightDrop and a future commercial/passenger van that Tesla is developing.
The EV maker trio is expected to unveil a prototype of the mini electric vans at a Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association exhibition later this week, Electrek reported. The vehicles are expected to be released by the end of the year.