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Published on January 18th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan


Tesla Model S = 37% of Large Luxury Car Sales in 2018 in USA*

January 18th, 2019 by  

Oh, poor Model S. With the Tesla Model 3 now on the scene in full force and consistently ranking in the top 5 of all US car sales, the older, bigger Model S doesn’t get nearly the attention and discussion it used to get.

Nonetheless, we’re still reporting on Tesla Model S sales compared to other large luxury cars, and the model’s still completely rocking it.

In fact, the Model S took 37% of the US market in 2018, nearly twice as much as the #2 Mercedes S-Class, based on CleanTechnica’s estimates (which basically means estimating US sales as a portion of official global sales*).

In the 4th quarter, the Model S took 36% of the market according to our estimates.

US Large Luxury Car Sales

ModelQ4 2018Q4 2018 Segment Share
Tesla Model S (est.)7,70036%
Lexus LS2,63012%
BMW 7 Series2,14510%
Mercedes S-Class4,64422%
Porsche Panamera1,6738%
BMW 6 Series8344%
Genesis G902561%
Jaguar XJ (est.)2921%
Audi A89434%

US Large Luxury Car Sales

Model20182018 Segment Share
Tesla Model S (est.)29,66037%
Lexus LS9,30112%
BMW 7 Series8,27110%
Mercedes S-Class14,97819%
Porsche Panamera8,11410%
BMW 6 Series3,7625%
Genesis G902,1363%
Jaguar XJ (est.)1,5792%
Audi A81,5992%

Jumping over to large luxury SUV sales, the Model X does not dominate the class in the same way. Our estimate is that it accounted for 19% of large luxury SUV sales in Q4 2018. Similarly, for the full year, it also accounted for 19% of large luxury SUV sales.

US Large Luxury SUV Sales

ModelQ4 2018Q4 2018 Segment Share
Cadillac Escalade9,57222%
Mercedes G/GLS-Class8,78020%
Tesla Model X8,05019%
Infiniti QX805,83013%
Land Rover Range Rover5,46713%
Lincoln Navigator4,75411%
Lexus LX1,0182%
Toyota Land Cruiser9042%

US Large Luxury SUV Sales

Model20182018 Segment Share
Cadillac Escalade36,03224%
Tesla Model X28,29019%
Mercedes G/GLS-Class25,56617%
Infiniti QX8019,20713%
Land Rover Range Rover19,03013%
Lincoln Navigator17,83912%
Lexus LX4,7533%
Toyota Land Cruiser3,2352%

One fear of the Model 3’s arrival (or hope, if you were a Tesla short or competitor) was that the Model 3 would eat up consumer demand for Tesla’s larger vehicles, especially the Model S. It appears that hasn’t been the case at all. In fact, with Tesla recently cutting the lower priced trim of the Model S and Model X, it appears demand is far greater than what Tesla can serve. (Otherwise, why would it raise prices so significantly?)

As it often turns out, one popular product from a company can lead more buyers to its other products. Word has been getting around about the Model 3, and that leads to more awareness and interest in its older siblings.

*CleanTechnica’s Tesla sales estimates are based on various statements from Elon Musk, official global figures from Tesla, and sales reports from other countries that are based on vehicle registrations. 


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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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