0.9% of all Tesla Model 3s ever delivered are for sale in Germany, while 51% of all Daimler EQCs are!
A used Tesla is less often available than any other used fully electric vehicle (BEV) in Germany, which includes Audi, BMW, Daimler, and Porsche electric vehicles.
This article is about why the used vehicle sales of a BEV tells you a great deal about the car. You don’t have to be a technical expert or have a degree in statistics to follow the thought that if many used vehicles are available to buy, many owners want to sell them, and usually for a good reason. The reason and motivation to sell are of course many, but at the end of the day, all what matters is how many people want to get rid of what they just a few months ago paid a premium for.
Everybody who considers buying a new vehicle usually wants to have the latest and greatest and is paying a premium for being that guy with the newest car in the neighborhood. It’s a guarantee that you will shine and receive attention for a while from many sides — mixed with the image and recognition of being able to afford it. The value of your new car goes down fast in the first year, like it never will again. It’s a known fact and no surprise, but it’s a known fact only for the past and does not apply to all cars in the future anymore.
From the outside, buying a new car looks like a really bad deal, since you could get the used vehicle after a year sometimes with a high discount even if it does not have a lot of mileage on it and can still be considered quite new. But if many of these vehicles are in the market and the price is quite low, you may ask yourself why so many previous buyers are selling and if they know something that you don’t.
In this article, I will not even try to answer which BEV could be suitable for you and is a good buy based on your tastes, but I think it it important to look at how often owners of models like the Audi e-tron, Porsche Taycan, Jaguar I-PACE, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 (among others) want to sell them again. I will compare all early-March 2020 used vehicles available for sale in relation to all vehicles ever sold from that specific model.
If you sell your car that you just bought a few months ago, you may have a good reason for it. If you don’t sell the car that you bought 5 years ago, you probably have a good reason for that too.
I used the largest auto market and economy in Europe as an example, which is by coincidence also the home country of Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and VW in Germany. The loyalty of Germans to their loved German brands is high and we all can fairly expect that this loyalty encourages them to keep their cars longer rather than shorter.
The astounding results show that 51% of all Mercedes EQC, 33% of all Porsche Taycan, and 17% of all Audi e-tron are available as used vehicle sales in Germany, but only 0.9% of all Tesla Model 3, 3% of all Model X, and 4.4% of all Model S that have ever been sold in Germany.
This is even more impressive since the Tesla Model S and X have been for sale in Germany since 2014 (Model S) and 2016 (Model X). Therefore, the Tesla models are partly up to 4–6 years old, which is usually a good reason to sell them again, whereas the EQC, e-tron, and Taycan have only been available for sale for a few months — you would expect people would keep them for at least half a year or a year before putting them on the used market, but the data prove this is not the case.
The same applies for the pure number of sold vehicles. The Model 3 is the 4th best sold BEV in Germany ever and you can expect that the car is not sold to only Tesla fanboys any more, but to many others who will be less forgiving and sell it quickly if there is something they don’t like about it. This is not the case with Tesla in Germany, so even people who are more critical don’t sell it again.
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Even if all new Tesla Model 3s today available from Tesla’s webpage are added to the used available vehicles tally, the rate of total cars available today in Germany would just be 1.1%. Considering that thousands of dealerships where new BEVs are available today in Germany, the percent gap between Tesla and all other manufacturers would be even higher if we added their new cars to the calculation. Used Model 3s are not yet available on the Tesla webpage.
In other words, regardless of how you do the calculation and consider dealerships’ new or used cars, it’s an undeniable fact that all Tesla models in Germany are available in a much lower volume versus BEVs from other brands — even thought they are the best seller and are on average much older.
Used car sales and resales values correlate with each other. Unsurprisingly, Tesla cars have high resale values, compared to both BEVs and conventional fossil-fueled car. Low availability of used vehicles may be one reason for this, along with others like high customer satisfaction, a working global superfast charging network, a leading driver assistant system, good service experiences, low maintenance and service costs, and continuous improvements with over-the-air software updates that keep your Tesla almost new.
But it also may indicate that there are some not very positive issues with the other BEVs sold in Germany, be it with models from international brands like the Zoe or Leaf or national brands from Audi, BMW, Daimler, and Porsche.
At the end of the day, regardless what the underlying reasons are, the consumer decides with her or his hard-earned money what a car is worth, and as of now, the value of all three available models from Tesla are ranked in Germany as the highest value you can get.
To give an outlook to the future, all vehicles from Tesla shown in the numbers are produced in the US, which has in terms of car manufacturing a really low reputation in Germany. When Gigafactory 4 (or “Giga Berlin”) in Berlin–Brandenburg produces its first Model 3s in July 2021, and later the Model Y, that last complaint about not having bought a Made in Germany quality product will disappear forever.
Calculation Method & Data Source
All registration data is from the official German vehicle registration webpage KBA.de and includes all vehicles of that brand and model ever sold in Germany.
Cars available for sale are taken from Mobile.de in early March 2020, a website where private or professional owners as well as dealers can sell their vehicles. A second often used local webpage is autoscout.de. It usually lists the same vehicles but is excluded in the used statistic to avoid any double counting. Mobile.de has more traffic. Over time, pulling the data periodically showed the results did not to change much.
That Tesla has no dealerships (but rather a direct sales model) and some incumbent dealers also offer new BEVs at Mobile.de does not matter since those vehicles being sold regardless of mileage on the odometer at the date the data was pulled from the webpage. Not all used vehicles available from incumbents at dealers are listed at Mobile.de.
With Tesla having zero used cars on the Tesla website early in March 2020 and just 26 new (e.g., Model 3) in Germany available for sale, but many if not all other automakers have new cars as well as many used at their dealers that are not listed at mobile.de, the assumptions used for this analysis are actually conservative. If we add all new cars available for sale for Tesla, the percentage of available used and new Model 3 cars is just 1.1%, while for all other automakers with cars sitting at dealerships it will be much higher.
The presented percentage of used cars available for sale should be considered an indicator, as some used vehicles are sold over other webpages, like autoscout.de, or even via private contact, and not recorded at mobile.de. So, the numbers must be even higher. That applies for all BEVs listed, including Teslas.
The graph is indented to give a one-day snapshot and will slightly change over time, but the overall order of magnitude results with Tesla vehicles being almost not available as used vehicles is consistent with data from other countries in Europe.