Published on May 18th, 2013 | by James Ayre


Tesla Model S Sales Much Higher Than Similarly Priced Cars From Mercedes, BMW, & Audi

May 18th, 2013 by  

It’s near impossible to deny the success that Tesla Motors has been having as of late. The Model S has been selling extremely well. Its stock has been climbing to new heights, it has turned a profit, it has announced that it will be repaying its DOE loan five years early, and the company is gearing up for the release of several new models over the next few years. And now, new data from LMC Automotive is providing a good visual for that success — showing that Tesla’s Model S is selling considerably better than similarly priced cars from Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.

Image Credit: LMC Automotive

Image Credit: LMC Automotive

During the first quarter of this year, the Tesla Model S sold better than “any of the similarly priced gasoline-powered cars from the top three German luxury brands, according to data from LMC Automotive.” Roughly 4,750 people bought a Model S EV, compared to the 3,000 or so that bought Mercedes’ top-level sedan.

Obviously, though, this isn’t an exact comparison. As CNN Money notes: “Actual selling prices for the Mercedes S-class sedan start toward the upper end of the Tesla Model S price range, according to the auto pricing Web site, while prices for the other cars are at the lower end. And nobody gets a $7,500 federal tax credit for a buying an S-class or an A8. Also, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi each sell a full range of cars and SUVs while Tesla buyers have only one model to choose from.”

Regardless of any of that, though, it’s an impressive feat — Tesla has carved itself out a significant chunk of the market in just a decade. With the release of its SUV — the Model X — next year and the release of its more-affordable 4th production model sometime around 2017, the future looks very bright for the company.

In related news, Tesla’s Model S was recently called “possibly the best car that we have ever tested” by Consumer Reports — achieving a score of 99/100. The only other car to achieve such a high score was the Lexus LS460 back in 2009. The only criticism was the inability to drive extremely long distances without recharging or being able to recharge very quickly on such a drive.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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  • Philip

    As i know Tesla sells more cars in Europe than US is that right ?

  • This is a bad graphic. The bars do not scale properly. I love that Tesla is doing so well, however.

    • Ross

      An Arts graduate most have done it.

  • StefanoR99

    Brilliant, Tesla must be taking a huge bite out of all their asses, and the s class etc are those marques most profitable lines.

    Serves them right for dragging their feet for years on bringing EVs to market. 2013 and STILL none of the German manufacturers have a plugin for sale… Only “concept” cars lol

    • Ross

      Yes. It’s not like their sloth like behaviour hasn’t been pointed out to them for years. Oh, wait, it is.

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  • Tesla must boost their production capacity. ICE luxury cars are still sold more than EV luxury cars. Perhaps by 2015 electric luxury cars are sold more than similarly priced ICE or hybrid cars.

    By 2025 more than half of new cars manufactured will be fully electric.

    • To increase production they need to add another production line (delay loan payback) . Or maybe add another shift to their current line, night shift is a quality risk. On their site, current wait is 2 to 3 months, he likely doesn’t want to get into the model of having lots of cars on the lot waiting. It is a fine line, they don’t want to over expand. But I too would like to see them increase production; and wonder if they should hold the loan those 5 years and use it to increase production.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Having more demand than supply helps hold prices. The S has become something desired and a bit of supply shortage supports that desire. Just because you can afford one does not mean that you can go down to the store and bring one home.

        It feels to me that Elon has surrounded himself with some very knowledgeable people. I suspect they’ve got an interesting route forward well planned.

        There’s certainly more than enough room in the Fremont plant to expand when they think the time right.

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