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Published on April 22nd, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan

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Tesla Model S Crushes Large Luxury Car Competition In USA

April 22nd, 2018 by  



In July of 2017, I put together a comparison of Tesla Model S sales and other large luxury car sales in the USA. An update has long been due.

The story was very much the same in the first part of 2018 as it was in the first part of 2017. The Tesla Model S sat comfortably at #1 in this category.

US Large Luxury Car Sales

Q1 2018Q1 2018 Sector Share
Tesla Model S (est.)6,73034%
Mercedes S-Class4,56523%
Porsche Panamera1,91610%
BMW 7 Series1,8009%
Lexus LS1,6728%
BMW 6 Series1,0305%
Genesis G909845%
Jaguar XJ6133%
Audi A83712%
Maserati Quattroporte3142%
TOTAL19,995100%

Out of 10 large luxury car models, the Tesla Model S gobbled up a notable 34% of sales. The Mercedes S-Class trailed it most closely with 23% of sales.

In case you think my Tesla Model S sales estimate may be too fanboy-ish, note that the article where I sourced the other car sales data used an estimate of 8,400 for the quarter (as opposed to my estimate of 6,730).

This isn’t a blip in history. Rather, it’s been the story in the US large luxury car market for years.

Someone new to the topic might wonder why the Model S performs so well and outsells historic giants of the market such as the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series. Each individual buyer is different, but in aggregate, it seems that would be due to the Tesla’s superior performance, advanced tech (esp. Autopilot), smooth and fun electric driving experience, convenient home charging, attractive design, superb safety (top of the market), and zero emissions. However, we don’t have any definitive research on the matter, so we’re left to speculate based on anecdotes and some consumer research.

Tesla Model 3 Following Suit

The Tesla Model 3 is not at full production — not even close — yet is already apparently the leader in the small & midsize luxury car category. If production and deliveries rise as expected, it will be dominating this category in a similar way as the Model S dominates the large luxury car category, as many observers and analysts expected it would.

Again, Model 3 competitive advantages include wicked performance, high tech, convenient home charging, stunning design, smooth & quiet driving, great expected safety, and zero emissions. Even taking out several qualitative, subjective factors, Tesla Model 3 specs look great in comparison to the model’s gas competitors.

(Update: Due to some mistakes and major unresolved questions in the categorization and data collection for the Model 3 section, I’ve removed the rest of this section of this article. Stay tuned for a tailored update on the Model 3 in the coming weeks.)

Tesla Model X Middle of the Pack

I also checked how the Tesla Model X stacked up to gas SUV competitors. In this case, I was surprised to see the Tesla wasn’t on top, not even on the podium. In the midsize luxury SUV category, it’s right around the middle of the pack, sitting at #11 according to my estimate.

Since I think the Model X is far and away the best SUV on the market and offers a competitive price for what you get, I’m not sure that I can explain why the Model X isn’t at least in the top 3. Perhaps this bigger market is just made up of “late majority” mainstream buyers to a greater extent, whereas consumers in the markets above have more of an “early adopter” or “early majority” profile? Or perhaps it’s because some of Tesla’s most popular benefits (extreme acceleration, innovative tech, and zero emissions) are less valued by consumers in the luxury SUV market? Also worth highlighting is that some of these models are significantly cheaper than the Model X (not taking into account fuel savings).

US Midsize Luxury SUV Sales

Q1 2018Q1 2018 Sector Share
Lexus RX23,79016%
Cadillac XT514,84510%
Land Rover Range Rover (Sport + Velar + Discovery/LR4)
13,5299%
BMW X512,0768%
Infiniti QX6012,0248%
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class11,6568%
Acura MDX10,3247%
Audi Q78,2596%
Volvo XC907,3895%
Lincoln MKX6,2284%
Tesla Model X (est.)6,1704%
Lexus GX5,6914%
Jaguar F-PACE3,9433%
Porsche Cayenne3,2872%
BMW X62,0191%
Maserati Levante1,0851%
Volkswagen Touareg9381%
Infiniti QX705700%
Lincoln MKT5120%
TOTAL144,335 100%

In any case, there’s clearly room for the Model X to grow. Perhaps a ton of Model 3’s hitting the streets will bring significantly more attention to the company and result in more monthly Model X sales. Or not. We’ll see.

In any case, wait till the Model Y gets on the scene… 
 





 

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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