Analysts Say Volkswagen Could Overtake Tesla Very Soon The German automaker may surpass Tesla as the best selling electric vehicle maker as soon as this year.

By Michelle Jones

This story originally appeared on ValueWalk

Volkswagen AG (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) could overtake Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) as the best-selling electric vehicle maker sooner than most were expecting. One analyst notes that Volkswagen could overtake Tesla by hundreds of thousands of vehicles this year. Meanwhile, another predicts that the German automaker could beat the Silicon Valley superstar next year.

Analyst predicts Volkswagen will beat Tesla this year

According to The Motley Fool, analyst Gordon Johnson of GLJ Research said Volkswagen would overtake Tesla in EV unit sales this year. The German automaker said on Tuesday that it plans to deliver 1 million electric vehicles this year. Johnson noted that Tesla guided for a 50% increase in deliveries this year, which would put it at about 750,000 units.

Volkswagen also said on Tuesday that it wants to be the top EV maker in the world by no later than 2025. It remains unclear whether the German automaker will be able to beat Tesla. Volkswagen's EV line-up is more targeted at the masses, while Tesla still targets the luxury market, although the Model 3 and Model Y are supposed to be mass-market vehicles.

Another view of Volkswagen versus Tesla

On the other hand, UBS analysts said Volkswagen could match Tesla in EV unit sales as early as next year. They predict that the company will deliver 300,000 more EVs than Tesla in 2025. CNN notes that Volkswagen is investing $42 billion into electric vehicles in its quest to counter Tesla's dominance.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess told CNN earlier this week that Tesla is "very strong in software" in addition to making electric vehicles. He added that the automaker runs "the car as a device" and that they are "making good progress on the autonomous thing." However, he emphasized that they will challenge Tesla.

Volkswagen intends to sell over 2 million EVs by 2025, build a network of massive battery factories, hire 6,500 IT experts in the next five years, launch an operating system and become the second-largest software firm in Europe after SAP. The move into software further cements the fact that Volkswagen has Tesla in its crosshairs. UBS analysts told the media last week that investors haven't appreciated the speed at which the German automaker is gaining ground on Tesla.

Tesla is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families. CEO Elon Musk has yet to respond to Volkswagen's challenge to his company's dominance in the EV market. Tesla shares declined by as much as 3% in early trading today before reversing course. The stock was in the red on Tuesday.

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