- At earnings this week, several auto execs pulled back on EV targets.
- Dealers have been warning of slowing EV demand for months.
- “This is a pretty brutal space,” Mercedes-Benz’s CFO said this week.
“As we get further into the transformation to EV, it’s a bit bumpy,” she said.
While GM’s about-face was somewhat of a surprise to investors, the Detroit car company is not alone in this new view of the EV future. Even Tesla’s Elon Musk warned on a recent earnings call that economic concerns would lead to waning vehicle demand, even for the long-time EV market leader.
Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz — which is having to discount its EVs by several thousand dollars just to get them in customers’ hands — isn’t mincing words about the state of the EV market.
“This is a pretty brutal space,” CFO Harald Wilhelm said on an analyst call. “I can hardly imagine the current status quo is fully sustainable for everybody.”
Just a few months after dealers started coming forward to warn of slowing EV demand, manufacturers appear to be catching up to that reality. Ford was the first to fold, after dealers started turning away Mach-E allocations. In July, the company extended its self-imposed deadline to hit annual electric vehicle production of 600,000 by a year, and abandoned a 2026 target to build 2 million EVs.
“After studying this for a year, we decided that this would be difficult as a business, so at the moment we are ending development of an affordable EV,” Mibe said in an interview with Bloomberg this week.
For some, this pullback is no surprise.
“People are finally seeing reality,” Toyota Motor Chairman Akio Toyoda said at the Japan Mobility Show, the Wall Street Journal reported. Toyoda has long been skeptical of his peers’ pure-electric blueprints.