Tesla’s global sales in the 4th quarter were almost as large as Porsche’s and Jaguar’s sales combined, showing Tesla’s continued rise in the broader auto market. It also shows Tesla’s quick transition through these more limited, exclusive segments and into the direction of larger brands like BMW, Audi, and perhaps even Toyota someday.
Looking at total 2018 sales, Tesla beat Jaguar by almost 65,000 despite the Model 3’s low production volumes in the first half of the year, and it came within 11,015 sales of Porsche. Clearly, if the trend of Q3 and Q4 2018 continue through 2019, Tesla will also be far ahead of Porsche in annual sales in 2019.
One interesting thing is that Jaguar and Porsche had solid sales years, both of which had record years.
The continues the narrative that Tesla isn’t taking sales from these other premium-class performance automakers as much as it is from more mass-market brands, like Honda, Toyota and BMW. Or, as Elon Musk put it on Tesla’s last quarterly conference call, they’re pulling buyers from everywhere.
Tesla’s rise may be seen as a sweat-inducing threat to Jaguar and Porsche executives, or it may be seen as a top path forward for such brands to grow their own market share. If they lead on compelling electric vehicles, they can perhaps grow their own customer base faster and even extend into new segments. Perhaps.
In any case, I think the core takeaway from the sales update above is that Tesla can’t be written off as carelessly today as many thought it could a few years ago. If you are going to call Tesla a small, insignificant, niche automaker that might not survive, you have to do the same for Jaguar and Porsche.
Also, as noted above, I just see it as a short-term milestone worth celebrating if you want to see a quick transition to electric transport, which is being led by Tesla of course. You have to go through Jaguar and Porsche levels before you can get to Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Ford, GM, Volkswagen, and Toyota levels. Don’t consider this a stopping point for Tesla.
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