~450,000 US Luxury Car Buyers A Year Are Lost

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I wrote the other day about how crazy it is that there are still tens of thousands of Americans buying Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords month after month. Amidst the hundreds of thousands of views on that story, some people griped that the purchase price of a Model 3 is considerably higher than the purchase price of an Accord or Camry. A point I alluded to repeatedly is that the Model 3, despite a higher purchase price, may well have a lower 5 year cost of ownership than an Accord or Camry for many people. Yes, I’m sure there are some Accord and Camry buyers who couldn’t get financing for the ~$39,000 base price of a Model 3, but there are certainly many other Accord and Camry buyers who could quality for financing for a Tesla Model 3 — and then would reap financial savings over time while enjoying a much better car. But that’s all moot for the focus of this article — luxury cars.

In those comparisons between the Model 3 and the Accord, Camry, Nissan Maxima, etc., you basically have a dramatically better car (the Model 3) that may end up having a similar — or possibly even lower — total cost of ownership. In comparisons between the Model 3 and various luxury cars its size, you have what is still clearly a better car in practically every way (the Model 3) but a shockingly lower cost of ownership. While these luxury cars have a somewhat more similar drive quality and interior to the Model 3 than the Camry and Accord have, they still don’t match what a Tesla offers, and since these luxury cars also typically cost much more than a Model 3 over time, it’s hard to find any compelling reason to not choose the Model 3. My best explanation for these 400,000+ luxury car sales: the buyers are lost.

Okay, putting it a softer way, I think these buyers 1) just don’t know about Tesla, 2) have a bucket full of misleading Tesla smears in their heads, 3) don’t realize how cost-competitive a Model 3 is, 4) don’t know about the benefits of an EV/Tesla, and/or 5) are just scared of new tech and destined to be in the “late majority” or “laggard” category of the tech transition. In any case, take a look at January–August US sales of several luxury car models and tell me which one is as good as a Tesla Model 3:

Note that there’s missing sales data for automakers that only publish quarterly sales, not monthly sales.

Totaling sales for the first 8 months of the year, there have been 17,185 Acura TLX sales, 17,657 Audi A4 sales, 15,676 Audi A5 sales, 28,534 BMW 3 Series sales, 14,250 BMW 4 Series sales, 18,120 Infiniti Q50 sales, 34,576 Lexus ES sales, 11,056 Lexus IS sales, 34,101 Mercedes C-Class sales, and 11,739 Volvo 60 Series sales. All together, we’ve already got more than 300,000 non-Tesla sales on the board from models listed above.

See the following charts, which I created in March, to check out how Model 3 specs compare to the specs of some of these models:

The Model 3 also offers much smoother driving, much better infotainment and autonomous driving tech, greater safety, and over-the-air updates. Looking at the full package, the winner should be clear in the vast majority of rational buying decisions.

In the following days, I’ll update 5 year cost of ownership comparisons between the Tesla Model 3 and popular luxury cars (the Lexus ES, Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, etc.). In the meantime, see this one (chart above): Tesla Model 3 vs. BMW 230i, 330i, 440i, & i3s.

If you’d like to buy a Tesla and get 2,000 miles (3,000 km) of free Supercharging, feel free to use my referral code by October 1: https://ts.la/zachary63404. After October 1, it’s presumed that you will get 1,000 miles (1,500 km) of free Supercharging by using that referral code (or someone else’s).

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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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