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Why Volkswagen is beating Tesla in Europe

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Germany-based Volkswagen Group has risen from the ashes of its 2015 emissions scandal to become the EV market leader in Europe, where the company reported that it had 26% market share in the first half of 2021. While Tesla‘s Model 3 has been selling well in the region, Volkswagen’s local manufacturing, brand familiarity and cheaper price points have helped give it an edge over Tesla.

But as Elon Musk aims to start production at the Berlin Gigafactory by year’s end, Volkswagen’s lead could be short-lived. 

In the rapidly growing EV market, analysts say the Volkswagen Group benefits from its wide array of brands, which includes luxury marques like Audi, Bentley and Porsche. VW’s most popular EV in Europe is the more affordable ID.3, a hatchback that starts at around $40,000. And in September 2020, Volkswagen released the ID.4, an SUV aimed at the global market that has since become Volkswagen’s top-selling EV overall. 

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However, Volkswagen still lags behind Tesla globally. Tesla delivered more than 627,000 EVs in the first three quarters of 2021, while Volkswagen sold about 293,000 cars. But Volkswagen, along with other traditional automakers and EV startups, plans to release an abundance of new all-electric models in the next decade.

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