According to an article in 2018 by Business Insider, the Chevy Bolt was “completely crushing” the Tesla Model 3 back then. The article cited December 2017 sales and claimed that Chevy was the first to produce a long-range electric vehicle that was also affordable. It also claimed that Tesla was threatened by GM.
Tesla long ago proved that article null and void, but we haven’t reflected much on how far off the argument really is, until recently. A user on Reddit pointed out something that many didn’t seem to know until EVANNEX shared the info in one of its articles. “_Tesla_,” the user on Reddit, said:
“Let’s step back for a moment and realize what a momentous quarter Tesla just had:
“Remember the Tesla Killers? Tesla built and sold more 3s in Q2 2019 alone than GM built and sold Chevy Bolts. Ever. Globally.“
Sit back and re-read that again, this time out loud and slowly.
Tesla built and sold more Model 3s in one quarter alone than GM has done with the Chevy Bolt since it was born.
Breaking Down The Numbers
The user cited this GM Chevy Bolt EV sales chart. Up until June 2019, total sales of the Chevy Bolt in the USA were 50,176. Total sales of the Chevy Bolt in Canada were 5,820. Total sales of the Chevy Bolt in Mexico were 43. Total sales of the Chevy Bolt in South Korea were 6,854.
The numbers all add up to 62,893. So, from the very end of 2016, when the Bolt was launched in the USA, the Bolt has seen a little more than 60,000 sales.
Tesla, in the second quarter of 2019 alone, sold 77,550 Model 3s, almost 15,000 more than the Bolt’s all-time total.
We’re not picking on the Bolt here. We’re just putting some things into context. In particular, there’s a certain argument that’s long been made by Tesla critics that is perhaps ready for retirement.
Regarding “Tesla Killers”
Why must any new electric vehicle be a Tesla killer? The idea that we have a “killer” is not only negative but divisive and is rooted in jealousy. It shows that instead of the competition embracing a newcomer to an industry, a company doing some interesting and useful things, it wants to kick the innovator out. It’s like high school all over again, the cool kids telling the nerdy one that they can’t sit with them.
We should perhaps note here, though, that it’s generally not people working at the competing automakers who use the term “Tesla killer.” It’s members of the media and hardcore Tesla critics. Why always a “Tesla killer,” despite all evidence to the contrary? “Steve Jobs Ghost” puts it nicely:
The narrative more generally is that Tesla is on top now, but it won’t be for long. However, such claims have not turned out well so far. No other car has come along and “killed” Tesla. The Model 3 is the top selling electric car worldwide, and the overall electric car market has been growing strong. In some places, the Model 3 has actually been the top selling car overall in certain months or quarters. In the USA, the Model 3 was the #1 top selling car by revenue from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019.
No one knows what the future holds, but looking backwards, critics and members of the media who have long hyped up “Tesla killers” have proven to be poor forecasters.