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Published on December 9th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan


Tesla = #1 in Luxury Cars in USA, #4 in Luxury Vehicles (Possibly) — 5 CleanTechnica Charts

December 9th, 2018 by  

For the month of November, the Tesla Model 3 coasted at the top of its class again, Tesla solidly took the #1 spot for sales of luxury cars in the United States, according to CleanTechnica estimates. It held approximately 27% of the luxury car market, compared to 22% for BMW and 20% for Mercedes-Benz.

Across all luxury vehicle classes, not only cars, Tesla was 4th. Without a crossover in its lineup, it loses much ground to Mercedes-Benz (#1), BMW (#2), and Lexus (#3). However, it still had 15% of the luxury vehicle market, based on official data from other automakers and our estimates for Tesla vehicle sales.

Luxury Car Brand November 2018 (US Sales) Segment Share
Acura Cars 3,680 5%
Audi Cars 6,579 9%
BMW Cars 16,511 22%
Infiniti Cars 3,781 5%
Jaguar Cars (est.) 935 1%
Lexus Cars 7,778 10%
Mercedes-Benz Cars 14,895 20%
Tesla Cars (est.) 20,500 27%
TOTAL 74,659 100%

As you can see from the charts and table above, even if the CleanTechnica sales estimates for Tesla were off by a few thousand units, Tesla would hold onto the #1 position.

Another thing perhaps worth noting for a moment is that the various automakers who are supposedly going to bring “Tesla killers” to market currently sell dramatically fewer cars (all car models combined) than Tesla. Are any of them going to bring a dramatically better vehicle to market in the next few years than Tesla offers today? That seems unlikely. So, how exactly can that Tesla killer narrative work? (Hint: it doesn’t.)

Brand November 2018 (US Sales) Market Share
Acura 14,053 8%
Audi 17,082 10%
BMW 28,330 17%
Infiniti 14,086 8%
Jaguar Land Rover 11,744 7%
Lexus 26,446 16%
Mercedes-Benz 32,979 20%
Tesla (est.) 23,050 14%
TOTAL 167,770 100%

Looking at overall vehicle sales, it looks a bit more interesting and “sensible.” But what is basically hidden in these latter two charts is that Tesla sells only three models, and it doesn’t have any models in the most popular luxury vehicle class of all.

Once the Model Y comes along, these charts should look more similar to the luxury car charts at the top. I can practically see the sweat on other luxury automaker execs now. They may not have $420 tweets to worry about, but they have a growing pile of pressure on their roofs and no clear path for protecting themselves from the Tesla revolution.

I’ve got one more sales chart this month. A handful of readers have complained that we haven’t been comparing the Model 3 to all light vehicles (all consumer automobiles) sold in the US. It seems many of those people would like us to only compare Model 3 sales to the sales of all other consumer vehicles — presumably because they don’t like seeing the Model 3 at the very top of the charts or in the top 10. In any case, it’s a good idea and it does help put the Model 3 in the broadest relevant context possible, so below is an extra chart this month. As you can see, based on CleanTechnica‘s November sales estimate for the Model 3, it landed in the #17 spot overall, below 5 other cars and 11 SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the CEO of Important Media. 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, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he offers no investment advice and does not recommend investing in Tesla or any other company.

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