It's been nearly a century since any automaker was in a more enviable position than Tesla.
Despite relatively disappointing fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts' estimates, Tesla finished 2018 with an astounding 83 percent share of the U.S. battery-electric vehicle market, CEO Elon Musk boasted Wednesday. That hasn't happened since the years following the start-up of Ford's first moving assembly line.
Of course, as Ford found out, that sort of performance is all but impossible to maintain. Despite revealing new details about plans to increase production of the Model 3, while launching three new product lines over the next year, Tesla's perch atop the luxury electric vehicle market is facing some serious challengers in the coming years.
Automakers from Acura to Zotye are plugging into electric vehicles, with industry analysts expecting to see nearly a dozen new all-electric vehicles in U.S. showrooms by the end of 2019, with dozens more coming to market in 2020. That doesn't include all the plug-ins and conventional hybrids also being rushed to market. Jaguar, Mercedes and Volkswagen are making a direct bid for Tesla's customer base, recently debuting several all-electric luxury models that industry analysts say will give Musk's signature Model 3 sports sedan and Model X utility vehicle a real run for their money.