German Drivers Of German Cars Switching To Tesla Model 3 — Very Limited Data

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German automotive news source Auto Motor und Sport has obtained exclusive access to some internal Tesla customer data that shows German drivers of German cars are switching to the Tesla Model 3, even though it costs more than the cars they traded in.

*Now, before we go around popping the champagne corks, it should be noted the data is drawn from a very small sample — 20 people, in fact. In other words, there is nothing statistically significant here.

In the auto industry, brand loyalty is critically important. Audi owners tend to buy another Audi, BMW drivers tend to buy another BMW, and so on. That’s why car companies work so hard to establish brand awareness in customers. So, when Tesla’s sales data shows that the majority of Model 3 owners are switching from a BMW, an Audi, or a Mercedes, that sends shock waves through the boardrooms of those traditional car companies.

Editor’s note: Again, let’s emphasize that this is not statistically significant/important data. It actually means nothing statistically. It’s akin to anecdotal data. Nonetheless, due to how important this is if the trend holds true beyond a sample size of 20, it seems worth discussing. —Zach

In addition, car buyers also like cars made locally. Germans like German cars. French people like French cars. So, when German drivers buy an American made car, that is a really big deal. But the most interesting thing about this Tesla market research is that most of those Model 3 customers spent more for their new electric car than they would have paid if they had simply bought another BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes E-Class, or what have you.

Tesla believes the data shows people are finally beginning to grasp that true cost of ownership is more important than sticker price. Less money for fuel, less money for maintenance, and less money lost to depreciation means the more expensive car to buy can turn out to be the less expensive car to own.

There’s another plus that electric cars offer — that satisfying push into the back of the seat when the driver pushes on the go pedal. 17 of the Model 3 buyers traded in a car with a gasoline or diesel engine. There is just no conventional car that offers the same seamless acceleration and quiet driving experience you get from an electric car. All that instant performance is addicting. The only people who don’t like an electric car are people who have never driven an electric car.

Once again, the data is a little thin, but the trend is clear. People are willing to pay more for a Tesla, which suggests they find the Tesla to be a better value. (Generous government incentives, which have just been substantially increased in Germany, don’t hurt, either.) Once the Berlin Tesla factory starts cranking out German made cars, the tilt toward Tesla should get even stronger.


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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." You can follow him on Substack and LinkedIn but not on Fakebook or any social media platforms controlled by narcissistic yahoos.

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