1/5 Luxury Cars Sold in USA in 2018 = Tesla Model 3 or Tesla Model S

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As I just reported, the Tesla Model 3 was the #11 best selling car in the USA in 2018. As reported earlier today, in December, the Tesla Model 3 was the #1 top selling car in the USA that was produced by an American car company.

But that’s just the beginning of notable Tesla sales results.

In the month of December, Tesla sold more luxury cars than all other automakers. In fact, it accounted for approximately 30% of luxury car sales. Tesla sold more luxury sedans than BMW and Audi combined, more than Mercedes-Benz and Lexus combined. It absolutely crushed the luxury car competition.

Luxury Car Brand December 2018 US Sales Segment Share
Acura Cars 3,988 4%
Audi Cars 9,047 10%
BMW Cars 17,428 18%
Buick (est.) 2,388 3%
Cadillac (est.) 2,268 2%
Infiniti Cars 4,681 5%
Jaguar Cars (est.) 1,000 1%
Lexus Cars 9,551 10%
Lincoln Cars 3,044 3%
Mercedes-Benz Cars 15,482 16%
Volvo 966 1%
Tesla Cars (est.) 28,670 30%
TOTAL 94,526 100%

In terms of all luxury vehicles — SUVs and crossovers included — Tesla was #4 in December, just a bit behind Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and BMW … despite not having a crossover/CUV on the market.

Luxury Auto Brand December 2018 US Sales Market Share
Acura 16,774 7%
Audi 22,765 9%
BMW 34,357 14%
Buick (est.) 20,503 8%
Cadillac (est.) 16,585 7%
Infiniti 18,065 7%
Jaguar Land Rover 14,079 6%
Lexus 35,524 14%
Lincoln 11,526 5%
Mercedes-Benz 36,254 14%
Volvo 8,826 4%
Tesla (est.) 31,970 13%
TOTAL 250,454 100%

If you look at the full year, naturally, Tesla didn’t perform as well — it spent most of the year ramping up production. Nonetheless, approximately 1 out of 5 luxury car sales were Teslas (the Model 3 or the Model S).

Luxury Car Brand 2018 US Sales Segment Share
Acura Cars 43,842 5%
Audi Cars 97,071 11%
BMW Cars 193,465 22%
Buick Cars 33,781 4%
Cadillac Cars 31,746 4%
Infiniti Cars 48,259 5%
Jaguar Cars (est.) 11,000 1%
Lexus Cars 92,660 11%
Lincoln Cars 28,610 3%
Mercedes-Benz Cars 150,147 17%
Volvo Cars 21,456 2%
Tesla Cars (est.) 169,390 19%
TOTAL 877,585 100%

Across all types of luxury vehicles — SUVs and crossovers included — approximately 1 out of 10 sales were Tesla sales (Model 3, Model S, or Model X).

Luxury Auto Brand 2018 US Sales Market Share
Acura 158,934 7%
Audi 223,323 10%
BMW 311,014 14%
Buick 206,863 9%
Cadillac 154,702 7%
Infiniti 149,280 7%
Jaguar Land Rover 122,626 6%
Lexus 298,310 14%
Lincoln 103,587 5%
Mercedes-Benz 315,959 14%
Volvo 98,263 5%
Tesla (est.) 197,680 9%
TOTAL 2,181,607 100%

This company is 15 years old. The Model S hit the market 6½ years ago.

Can you spell disruption? More importantly, can luxury automaker execs and shareholders spell disruption, and can they see it coming?

The good news is that these competing automakers are getting more serious about electrification — a bit more serious. The bad news (for them as well as humanity) is that they’re still moving too slowly and are years behind Tesla in critical ways.

The other good news is that Tesla is moving down market and is broadening its vehicle offerings into the crossover and pickup categories in order to pull in more buyers. The other bad news is that conventional automakers don’t seem well prepared to compete with their own highly compelling and widely available electric options in those classes. I don’t say this often, but the next few years are going to be interesting. Tesla getting up to 250,000–400,000 sales a year is an explosion, but it’s not putting any competitors into bankruptcy. Reaching 1–2 million thanks to the introduction of an electric crossover (Model Y) and electric pickup could be another story.

If you would like to buy a Tesla and want the benefits that come with a referral, feel free to use my referral code — http://ts.la/tomasz7234 — or not.

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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.

Zachary Shahan has 7352 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan