Poll Results Show BMW 3 Series Is Top Trade In For Tesla Model 3

2 weeks ago by Steven Loveday 27

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

It comes as no surprise that the Tesla Model 3 is about to make a major impact on the current automotive market, and which cars it will likely displace is quite telling.

The Facebook group entitled, TESLA MODEL 3 Owners Club, ran an interesting survey asking Model 3 reservation holders what car their upcoming Model 3 will be replacing. It may be awhile before many peoples’ current vehicles are replaced by a Tesla, but we are talking about some 400,000 or more vehicles eventually displaced.

Tesla Model 3 Competitor

BMW 3 Series GT

This also means that about a half million cars that would have been purchased over the next year or so, will not be bought, as their would-be owners are eagerly awaiting their new Model 3. More than 150 of these future owners responded to the recent survey — although small and not very scientific — which paints an interesting picture. Take a look at the top 10 list, in terms of responses:

  1. BMW 3 Series: 21
  2. Nissan Leaf: 15
  3. Toyota Prius: 13
  4. Chevy Volt: 12
  5. BMW i3: 12
  6. Audi A4: 10
  7. Chevy Bolt EV: 8
  8. VW e-Golf: 6
  9. BMW 5 Series: 5
  10. Honda Civic: 5

If InsideEVs (or really any of our well-informed readers) had drafted this list without any survey, it’s likely that it would have looked strikingly similar. There’s not really any surprises on the above list, nor is there anything notable missing. However, the BMW 3 Series taking the cake over expected vehicles like the LEAF, Prius, Volt, and i3 is welcome news. The more ICE cars on the list, the better.

It’s only natural that current EV/hybrid owners are eager to get into Tesla’s first “affordable” offering. However, it’s a bit of a scare for GM to think that people are getting in and out of their new Chevy Bolt with such fastidiousness. Additionally, we have known for some time that Tesla is targeting the small German luxury car market, but it’s still interesting to see that ICE owners are taking the plunge.

BMW is surely not in the dark about this “problem”. The automaker intends to unveil a pure electric version of its 3 Series later this year.

Source: TESLAMODEL3OwnersClub via Electrek

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27 responses to "Poll Results Show BMW 3 Series Is Top Trade In For Tesla Model 3"

  1. L'amata says:

    Will anyone even accept those Golf Carts as a trade in ?

    1. Miggy says:

      I saw my first sighting of a Model 3 today which was testing in the snow at -9c and I must say that it looked better in the wild than in the photos that I have seen.

  2. franky_b says:

    150 participant… not really a good sample..right?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      More importantly, it’s an opt-in survey, so self-selects for people who (a) use social media a lot, and (b) care enough about the question to voluntarily spend time taking the survey. Such surveys can easily be skewed by one person using social media to promote the survey to all his friends who share his opinions on the subject.

      Scientifically valid surveys use random sampling, which this is not.

      Still, my guess is that the results shown here probably are not too far from what a more scientifically valid survey would show. At least it’s probably not a “push poll”, deliberately skewing the results by using loaded questions or pushing respondents to answer in a pre-determined way.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        On further consideration, I suspect a scientifically valid survey would skew far more heavily toward gasmobiles and non-plug-in hybrids. Surely the readership of that Facebook page skews heavily toward people currently driving an EV, or at least planning to purchase one in the near future.

        1. JK says:

          Sure looks way top heavy on current EV owners. I am most curious on the number of ICE converts and this sample looks too small and unbalanced to be of much use in predicting how many ICE vehicles will not be sold because the M3 is widely available.

          Nonetheless perhaps first time EV owners will represent 40-60% of M3 buyers.

          I found it interesting that Tesla model S did not make top 10, but the golf EV, Bolt and BMW i3 did. There are not many of those owners out there.

          Also interesting is that Toyota Prius may be the largest selling sedan in California at about 70,000 units per year I believe. I expect the M3 to take 10,000 of those Prius sales away from Toyota in California, but that is just a WAG.

  3. Murrysville EV says:

    Six of the cars on the list are ‘green’:

    Nissan Leaf
    Toyota Prius
    Chevy Volt
    BMW i3
    Chevy Bolt EV
    VW e-Golf

    So much for conquering the unwashed masses.

    1. Alan says:

      That’s true but out of the 107 cars trading in of that top 10, 41 were ICE, near 40%, not bad for starters !

      1. R.S says:

        But not nearly enough to really make a difference. But this poll is not really scientific. The margin of error would probably take the top spot.

        Not to mention that people may not be too honest. 8 people are replacing their Bolts? So they got a new Bolt, just to replace it with a Model 3? Even if they were one of the first to lease it, they won’t be replacing it before the end of 2019.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “…they won’t be replacing it before the end of 2019.”

          I too found the number of Bolt EV owners on the list to be surprisingly high, but then I realized those are likely people who got a 2-year lease on the Bolt EV, with the intention of buying a Model 3 when that runs out. That seems to be a sensible strategy, given the long wait time anticipated by most Model 3 reservation holders.

          1. WadeTyhon says:

            I was about to say the same thing. I got a Spark EV specifically to hold me over for 2 years and test out BEV driving until the Bolt EV came out.

            I could absolutely see someone doing a 2 year lease on a Bolt EV and then switching to a Model 3 in 2019. Especially when leasing, sometimes you need a car “now” while waiting on the car you ultimately want. 🙂

          2. Tom says:

            There’s been much discussion of resale values of EVs but mostly the topic is about Nissan Leaf residual value which is horrible. So I thought about it but there’s just too little range and a bit of risk on battery quality. What I would really like is a cheaper BMW i3 Rex. The used values on those are quite high though and I think that speaks volumes. The M3 and Bolt should have much better depreciation curves than the Leaf. With respect to the i3, I’m seeing high 20s for 2015 models. If you go off about 45,000 retail new that is really high especially if you consider it went for probably 35,000 in California after federal and state rebates. That’s 71% of the after rebate amount. This bodes well in my opinion of both long term BMW success as well as success for Bolt/M3.

    2. Mikael says:

      When the people taking the poll are taken from those who have reservations and are active on forums you are most likely looking at green and/or EV crazy people.

      Of course there will be a number of EVs in the mix already.

      It will be interesting to see the mix once the first week reservations are gone through and we start to see people who are not EV or Tesla cultists starting to get cars.

    3. TimE says:

      You could consider the source “Tesla Model 3 Owners Group” to be a little biased / predisposed to be more EV fanatics than the overall reservation pool for the Model 3.

      As such – a higher percentage of those in that group already have an EV.

      It would be interesting to see results from a poll done by Tesla of reservation holders to find out what type of vehicles are being traded in.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “So much for conquering the unwashed masses.”

      It’s hardly surprising that the readership of the “Tesla Model 3 Owners Club” Facebook page has a high percentage of EV owners.

      This isn’t a random sample, and common sense says it’s likely that the majority of 400,000 Model 3 reservations came from the ~99% of drivers who currently drive gasmobiles and non-plug-in hybrids, not the ~1% (or less) of drivers who currently drive plug-in EVs.

  4. TNT says:

    I will be replacing a Toyota Rav4 with my Model 3

  5. Pete says:

    Toyota ? From the most reliable manufacture to Tesla will be a shock.

    1. Peter G. says:

      The Rav4 isn’t one of Toyota’s more reliable models. J.D. Power has ranks the Equinox & Terrain as the most reliable vehicles in that class.

  6. FISHEV says:

    “although small and not very scientific”

    Well OK then.

    For some reason a lot of the Tesla fans like to use BMW Model 3 for comparison though it would be an odd choice of car for people concerned about emissions which is what Tesla is all about.

    I think it was from an old comment by Musk that the some overenthusiastic fans never let go of even though it made no sense and was more Musk’s idea of a comparison vs. something real world. No doubt some pumping of numbers by the forum member.

    Prius, Volts etc. make sense, Model 3 never did.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “I think it was from an old comment by Musk that the some overenthusiastic fans never let go of even though it made no sense…”

      Maybe it doesn’t make sense to a serial Tesla basher like you, but fortunately most of us have better sense. Far better.

      I’m looking forward to the Tesla Model 3 biting into BMW’s market for the 3 Series. Hopefully biting deeply!

  7. orinoco says:

    It depends much on how the question of the survey was put. What does “replace” mean?
    Replacing an existing car? Or replacing a car they would have bought if Model 3 was not available? And make no mistake those who are online active about BEVs still belong to a small group of early adopters who already have experience with BEVs, so they own one already more likely.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “What does ‘replace’ mean? Replacing an existing car?”

      That’s how native English speakers would interpret the question, yes. In fact, that’s the only reasonable interpretation.

      “Or replacing a car they would have bought if Model 3 was not available?”

      That’s not “replacing” a car. That’s changing your mind and choosing a different car to buy.

  8. CLIVE says:

    Wait until the Y comes to the surface.

  9. Just_Chris says:

    It’s a shame the BMW 1 series wasn’t in the list. Good to see the 3 and 5 series and the A4 though. I would have also have liked to see the A, B and E class in the list but that is more wishful thinking than a real solid prediction. Hopefully this will mean a re-fresh of the i3 to make it look better and also make it cheaper.

  10. Don Zenga says:

    Ideally they should have picked up the owners of luxury compact cars which comes in the class of Model 3. Benz C Series, Lexus IS, Acura ILX in addition to the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

    Bolt and Volt are entirely different vehicles in size or technology.

  11. Another Euro point of view says:

    Not a surprise to me. Both have a valuable badge and both are rather impractical. Should appeal to same people.

  12. Jason says:

    400,000+ reservations! When Nissan launched the Leaf they wanted to sell this many, but obviously it was optimistic. Tesla bought their production schedule forward significantly because they got this many reservations. If it had of been a lot less, I doubt we would be seeing Model 3 this year.

    All those BMW, Mercedes, Audi buyers will be waiting to see how the Model 3 looks. The sparse interior will be a turn off to those flashy people who are too limited to see less is more, but I suspect once they see their friend/colleges with one, that will made a bigger impact.

    I have no doubt if the Leaf had 200+mi range then I would have been able to influence people to purchase it a lot more than I can at the moment. Generally people have been really impressed with the Leaf when I give them a ride, they love the smooth ride, the ability to turn on the A/C remotely, the cost to run. But, they just look blank when you tell them it can do about 100mi on a charge. Model 3 will impress them even more because it will have all those features plus be super quick and have the range people have come to expect.

    BMW might show us a concept, or production intent car, but it won’t be here for at least 2yrs, Model 3 is here starting from today.

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