Originally published on EV Obsession.
Thanks to all of the positive press generated by the Tesla Model X launch, and also by the launch of the Autopilot feature, Model S sales numbers have gotten quite a boost, according to the company’s most recent shareholder letter.
Very much worth noting here is that, since the Model X launch, both Model S and Model X order rates have climbed — and new Model X sales don’t seem to be cannibalizing the Model S market. Also, the company reports that Model X Signature Series reservation holders are converting to firm production orders at a notably higher rate than was the case with the Model S.
To be more specific on numbers here, global Model S orders rose by over 50% during Quarter 3, with growth in the North American, European, and Asian markets increasing as compared to Quarter 2. Quarter 3 also saw Model S orders increase quite substantially in the Chinese markets, owing partly to new retail location openings.
The company is expecting that growth will continue climbing in the Chinese market as more stores open, and as recent policy changes begin to take effect — the move to allow Teslas to avoid license plate restriction troubles, for instance.
Here’s more from the new Quarter 3 shareholder letter:
Version 7.0 software released over the air in October has delivered a significant visual update to the digital displays of the entire Model S fleet. The release also enabled Autopilot on about 40,000 Model S and Model X vehicles globally, giving these cars the ability to steer within a lane, change lanes with a tap of a turn signal and parallel park autonomously. Autopilot also reduces front and side collision risk and helps keep the car on the road should the driver become distracted.
Thousands of Autopilot-equipped Tesla vehicles are gathering over one million miles of driving data per day. We then analyze this data and feed it back to the fleet to continually improve our customers’ driving experiences. Autopilot is so advanced and unique that test drive requests from prospective customers have increased significantly since its introduction. To manage this volume of requests efficiently, consumers can now schedule their own test drives online, representing another industry-first by Tesla.
As autopilot functionality continues to improve on the road to fully autonomous driving options, this seems likely to become more and more of a selling point for the company, and represents yet another way that Tesla seems to be ahead of the pack when it comes to anticipating (and accelerating) the changes coming to the auto industry over the coming years.
→ Related: Tesla Q3 Results & Numbers
→ Related: Tesla Q4 Plans & Expectations