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Tesla Model 3 = #1 Luxury Car In USA

In the first quarter of 2019, the Tesla Model 3 was again the #1 top selling car in the US luxury car market. It was far and away the winner. It was actually #13 in the overall US car market, and no other premium-class car even made the top 20.

In the first quarter of 2019, the Tesla Model 3 was again the #1 top selling car in the US luxury car market. It was far and away the winner. It was actually #13 in the overall US car market, and no other premium-class car even made the top 20.

The Tesla Model 3 accounted for 16% of sales in the small + midsize luxury car markets. That’s 16% of both markets combined.

As Tesla indicated in its quarterly production and delivery report, the Model 3 had approximately 60% more deliveries than the #2 car in the market, which would be the Mercedes C-Class.

If you combine all of the models by brand for these segments, Tesla (which only has the Model 3) drops to #3. Again, it accounted for 16% the small + midsize luxury car market, whereas the Mercedes C-Class + CLA-Class + CLS-Class + E-Class accounted for 20% of the market and the BMW 2 Series + 3 Series + 4 Series + 5 Series accounted for 18% of the market.

I guess it depends on one’s expectations whether all of this is a win for Tesla or not, but there’s no denying that it’s a big deal for a single model to take 16% of the market (or two markets combined), especially when that model comes from a young company that just started mass producing the vehicle a few quarters ago.

Mercedes, BMW, and Audi certainly aren’t dying, but there’s a new big shot in town. Additionally, Mercedes, BWM, and Audi sales are all down in the USA compared to last year, indicating that they are bleeding a bit.

To see how sales of all of these models have changed over time in the past 15 months, check out the next two charts — just be sure to click the little balls at the top of the charts to move from one quarter to the next.

There are more ways to play with the numbers in order to put Tesla’s first quarter performance into perspective, but I think that’s enough for this piece.

Aside from this article focused on the Tesla Model 3 versus its small and midsized luxury class competitors, I’ve also published articles about the Model 3’s place among the top selling cars in the USA and Tesla’s overall position in the luxury car market and luxury vehicle market in the USA.

Model Q1 2019 January February March
Tesla Model 3 (est.) 24,003 5,000 5,500 13,503
Acura RLX 381 119 127 135
Acura TLX 7,029 1,669 2,219 3,141
Alfa Romeo Giulia 2,035 531 646 858
Audi A3 2,669 664 823 1,182
Audi A4 5,779 1,691 1,436 2,652
Audi A5 5,478 1,651 1,603 2,224
Audi A6 5,358 1,889 1,506 1,963
BMW 2 Series 2,062 578 738 746
BMW 3 Series 8,225 1,226 2,379 4,620
BMW 4 Series 7,402 2,842 2,685 1,875
BMW 5 Series 10,345 3,679 2,976 3,690
Infiniti Q50 8,264 2,249 2,230 3,785
Infiniti Q60 1,304 406 327 571
Infiniti Q70 962 235 269 458
Lexus ES 11,390 3,144 3,324 4,922
Lexus GS 955 298 263 394
Lexus IS 3,884 1,075 1,115 1,694
Lexus RC 963 262 279 422
Mercedes C-Class 15,002 4,676 4,812 5,514
Mercedes CLA-Class 5,210 2,278 1,566 1,366
Mercedes E/CLS-Class 10,394 3,258 3,424 3,712
Volvo 60 Series 3,959 1,400 1,058 1,501
Volvo 90 Series 1,227 514 367 346
US Small & Midsize Luxury Car Sales Q1 2019 Sales Segment Share
Tesla Model 3 (est.) 24,003 16%
Mercedes C/CLA/CLS/E-Class 30,606 20%
BMW 2+3+4+5 Series 28,034 18%
Lexus ES + IS + GS + RC 17,192 11%
Audi A3+A4+A5+A6 19,284 13%
Infiniti Q50 + Q60 + Q70 10,530 7%
Acura TLX + RLX 7,410 5%
Buick Cascada + Regal + Lacrosse 7,056 5%
Lincoln MKZ 4,287 3%
Cadillac CTS 2,428 2%
Volvo 60 + 90 3,339 2%
TOTAL 154,169 100%

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Written By

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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