23 Nasty Tesla Charts

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For this month’s edition of “Nasty Tesla Charts,” I decided to add one non-sales chart that I should have added months ago. It’s just too good of a chart to not include here.

That’s right, in case you missed it, the three vehicles with the lowest probability of injury, according to NHTSA stats, are the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, and Tesla Model X (in that order).

That’s just one of the ways that Tesla has pulled in so many sales. Tesla’s three models are also the quickest vehicles in their classes, probably have the best semi-autonomous driving tech, have access to superfast charging, get improved regularly via over-the-air software updates, and have various fun features.

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%

All combined, Tesla apparently now sells more luxury cars than any other automaker in the US. According to CleanTechnica estimates for November, 27% of luxury car sales in the US were Tesla cars (that is, sales of the Model 3 and Model S). That puts Tesla at #1, well ahead of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and everyone else.

Not too shabby for a 15 year old company that started mass producing cars 6 years ago. Where will Tesla be in another 6 years?

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%

The first two sales charts were for car sales (which doesn’t include sales of pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers). As the two charts and table directly above show, if you look more broadly, Tesla is one of the top luxury automakers in the US … even with just three models on the market. Despite not having a crossover on the market, Tesla is hanging in there just a few thousand sales below Lexus.

In November, Tesla accounted for ~14% of luxury automaker sales, based on estimates from CleanTechnica and official figures from automakers.

Taking a ginormous step back, the chart above shows the 20 highest selling light vehicles in the USA in November. The Model 3 even makes that list, based on our November estimates and official figures from non-Tesla automakers.

If you exclude trucks and SUVs, and just look at the top selling cars, the Model 3 ranks #6 in November and #11 for January–November 2018.

In the third of those charts, you can skip through month to month to watch the Model 3 rise up the ranks month after month.

If you narrow down and just examine the luxury car classes the Tesla Model 3 is competing in (based on price, quality, and performance), this is where the story starts to get really wild. Even for January–November, the Model 3 demolishes the competition from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, etc.

Due to how warped the model vs. model comparisons were, I got into the habit of comparing Model 3 sales to sales of other brands’ offerings in these classes all combined (the BMW 2 Series + 3 Series + 4 Series + 5 Series, for example). Even so, as you can see, the Model 3 sits on top of the pile.

While some Tesla fans may think this kind of comparison is not fair since we’re grouping midsize luxury cars with small luxury cars. However, the thing is, Tesla doesn’t sell any cars smaller than the Model 3, while its competitors do. If you want a small-ish Tesla, you have to settle with a Model 3. For that reason, I think it does actually make sense to combine these models in these classes.

I also thought pulling out the sales of a couple of iconic models would be particularly interesting for a deeper dive. Above, you can enjoy four charts showing the Tesla Model 3’s sales evolution this year to the Ford Mustang’s sales evolution. Below, you can see the same for the Tesla Model 3 versus the BMW 3 Series + 4 Series.

After an approximately 1 year production ramp, as you can see, the Tesla Model 3 soared above the Ford Mustang and the BMW 3/4 Series in July. It now lives in a different realm — at least until January.

Will the Mustang and 3/4 Series survive once people learn that the Model 3 is quicker, is safer, has more advanced tech, has lower total cost of ownership, and is just downright cooler? Honestly, who would buy a Ford Mustang or a BMW 3/4 Series after comparing the driving experience and details of these cars and the Tesla Model 3? I think the only reason Ford and BMW haven’t been forced to close down production of these models is that relatively few people have heard about the Model 3 and even fewer have experienced the electric monster.

If you’re looking to buy a Tesla, appreciate my work, and need a referral code, here you go: http://ts.la/tomasz7234.

Note that our monthly estimates for Tesla Model 3 sales are based on approximately half a dozen different sources and discrete statements from Tesla. We feel fairly confident in the general estimates, but as noted above, they are not official figures leaked by someone inside of Tesla or anything like that. This month, Paul Fosse’s estimate won the polling and was selected as the non-official official figure.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. 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], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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