Tesla Model S #1 In Sales In Large Luxury Segment In U.S. In 2015 And 2016

8 months ago by Steven Loveday 79

Tesla Model S

TESLA MODEL S RULES THE LARGE LUXURY SEDAN SEGMENT IN THE US

It’s not really news that the Tesla Model S outsells competing cars from legacy automakers – at least not to anyone who follows the electric vehicle (EV) scene. Back in 2013, it took the #2 spot in the large luxury sedan segment (after the Cadillac XTS), an unprecedented vote of confidence for what was then a new vehicle from a startup company.

*This article comes to us courtesy of Evannex (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

However, even more impressive sales achievements were to follow. Four years later, the history-making EV is the unchallenged leader in its class – the Model S has been the best-selling large luxury sedan in the US market for at least two years, and its lead is rapidly increasing.

luxury-large-sedans

Sources: Good Car Bad Car (*Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers)

While there can be no question that besting the venerable vehicles on this list is a worthy accomplishment, we find it a bit of a stretch to claim (as some other media outlets have) that the Tesla Model S is outselling any and all of its “competitors.” There’s no rule that says a car buyer has to consider only models within a particular artificially-defined “segment.” Luxury sedans surely also compete with luxury SUVs, especially in the US and China, where SUVs may occasionally be bought due to how trendy they are — rather than for their off-road cargo-carrying capabilities. There are some pretty hot sellers in the large luxury SUV segment – the Cadillac Escalade sold 39,092 units in 2016, and the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class and GL-Class sold 30,442 (Tesla’s Model X sold an estimated 18,223, which would make it the #3 seller in this class).

In fact, sedans may be something of a dying breed in the US market – sales of large luxury sedans were down 9% in 2016, while sales of large luxury SUVs grew by 10%. Meanwhile, Model S sales increased 17%. And, arguably, the Tesla Model S has no real direct competition. There is no other luxury model that’s fully electric, and no other vehicle that can rival the advanced autonomy and connectivity features that Tesla offers. This doesn’t stop the media from describing almost every new plug-in vehicle, pure EV or plug-in hybrid, as a “Tesla killer.” Motor Trend recently published an extensive comparison between a Tesla Model S and the new Chevy Bolt – a bit like comparing a filet mignon to a good cheeseburger.

Comparisons are odious, as the old saw has it. Be that as it may, there are (at least) two conclusions we can draw from these figures that have huge implications for the future. First, while (as the media so often remind us) electric vehicles as a whole still account for less than 1% of the overall auto market in the US (in Europe, they recently cracked the 1% mark), if you consider the leading EV – the Tesla Model S – within its large luxury class as defined by the list above, its market share is over 27%. Second, while large sedans (or maybe just gas-powered ones?) may be in decline, SUVs, minivans and compact cars are huge sellers, and are likely to remain so. Tesla has the SUV/minivan angle covered with Model X, and will soon have an attractive offering in the compact class. Watch this space.

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Sources: Good Car Bad Car, InsideEVs (*Estimated Tesla Sales Numbers)

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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79 responses to "Tesla Model S #1 In Sales In Large Luxury Segment In U.S. In 2015 And 2016"

  1. tortugamon says:

    Model S should be considered midsize, not large. While pricing may be more similar to large luxury sedans, size-wise its much more similar to 5-Series BMW than the 7-Series.

    1. Nix says:

      tort — While you are correct that the Model S is just barely big enough to fit into the EPA “Large Sedan” category, these categories are not arbitrary. They are determined by the EPA based upon Passenger Volume + Luggage Volume. The EPA Class Size of the Tesla Model S and the BMW 7-Series are both “Large Sedan”.

      The 5-Series gets a rating of “Midsize Sedan” EPA Class Size.

      https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacarhelp.shtml#epaSizeClass

      Sedans
      Minicompact <85
      Subcompact 85 to 99
      Compact 100 to 109
      Mid-Size 110 to 119
      Large 120 or more

      It would be inaccurate to say it is in the Midsize Sedan category, when it is correctly classified as a Large Sedan.

      1. Just_Chris says:

        Where would Tesla sit in the mid-size luxury car category? In a lot of ways it would be far more impressive that even at a significant price premium Tesla is taking sales from other brands in a larger segment – especially German brands that pride them selves on being the most desirable cars in that segment.

        IMO it is far more impressive that people are exchanging their Prius for a Model S – that is a massive premium to pay for a technology.

        1. Nix says:

          Well, the Model 3 has about 400,000 reservations, and I actually expect it to be classified as a mid-size car.

          Even if Tesla only hits a quarter of that number in sales per year, it will instantly put them on top, with more sales than any other car in the segment.

          Even if the Model 3 turns out to be categorized as an entry-level instead of a midsize, it would debut as the top seller in the segment.

          We will see how Tesla does in other classes, once they have cars to compete in those classes.

          1. james says:

            For 2016, 100,000 would get you 7th.

            http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles/car-buyers-guides/10-most-popular-midsize-cars

            8) Toyota Prius (58,451 sales)
            7) Kia Optima (70,847 sales)
            6) Hyundai Sonata (125,036 sales)
            5) Chevrolet Malibu (132,145 sales)
            4) Ford Fusion (170,840 sales)
            3) Nissan Altima (197,644 sales)
            2) Honda Accord (201,300 sales)
            1) Toyota Camry (233,832 sales)

            1. Nix says:

              James, you’ve confused the luxury and non-luxury sales segments. My comment was with regard to where the Tesla M3 would rank among Luxury Mid-size Sedans (or even Luxury Compact Sedans). None of those cars listed are in the luxury sales segment.

              But yes, non-luxury cars do outsell luxury cars, if that was the only point you were trying to make.

      2. Me says:

        Actually, no.

        THat’s misleading. Model S should be in mid-size.

        Passenger volume of the Model S is indeed mid-size. However, it has two cargo volumes (frunk + trunk) that skews it into into the large-size EPA category.

        Also, price wise, similarly equipped Model S is closer to 5-series, E-Class, etc than a 7-series, S-Class, etc.

        Also, I have a difficult time accepting “luxury” and Tesla in the same sentence. Premium perhaps, luxury definitely not. An S is no where near the luxury of a 7, S, A8, CT6, etc, let alone the fit and finish.

        1. MTN Ranger says:

          True. They know it since they recently hired Volvo’s interior designer. I hope that helps their future designs.

        2. Nix says:

          Me — You are wrong.

          The rear IS passenger space in the Model S. Please find ANY midsize car that can seat 5 adults + 2 kids for a total capacity of 7 Passengers.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “The rear IS passenger space in the Model S. Please find ANY midsize car that can seat 5 adults + 2 kids for a total capacity of 7 Passengers.”

            What you is true. However, both Prius/Volt/Prius like “hatchbacks” are gaming the EPA rules.

            EPA rules classify vehicles by interior passenger volume + cargo volume. 120cuft combined is the dividing line between midsize and large.

            However, for wagons, the dividing limit (160 cuft) is much higher for midsize and large size. By being a hatch back, the cargo room is naturally larger on vehicles like Prius and Tesla Model S. So, the overall total volume is “inflated” to meet the larger class. (Model S as large and Prius as midsize)

            Now, the interior PASSENGER volume of the Model is only 94 cuft which is the lowest passenger volume among all large class vehicles but fit in perfectly among midsize vehicles. Same thing applies to Prius which skewed the classification into midsize from compact.

            Yes, Model S technically meet the EPA classification of large cars, (barely). But it is really a “tweener” (as in between) class vehicle.

            1. Nix says:

              You too are missing the point that the 94 ft3 is NOT the end of passenger space in the Model S. There is still room for an additional 2 passengers (children). Once you add in ALL the space for ALL the passengers, even passenger space ALONE is much more than any midsize car.

              Simply pretending that a third row of seating doesn’t exist, and pretending that it shouldn’t be included as passenger space isn’t rational.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                I didn’t say that room didn’t exist.

                1. It is optional, rather than standard.
                2. If it is considered passenger volume, then it is even more evidence that Tesla Model S is in the wrong class for consideration. Wagon used to have rear facing seats. So, Tesla Model S with rear facing seats should be compared as wagon which would be subject to the 160 cuft mark for large size. Also, those rear passenger space with rear facing seats don’t add any comfort or space to the front 5 passengers at all.

                3. Cars like Prius and Tesla Model S are pushing the limitation on EPA classification. Regardless, the front 5 passenger interior room is on the lowest compared to ALL large class vehicles.

                I am not saying what you stated aren’t true. I am only saying that Tesla S is “incorrectly” compared with traditional large sedans that have 4/5 passenger and a trunk. Is it more practical? yes. But is it larger inside for passengers compared to large sedans? No.

                1. Nix says:

                  See my response below.

              2. ModernMarvelFan says:

                In addition, if you add those rear facing child seat to passenger room, then you will lose cargo room significantly.

                1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  Furthermore, the Model S isn’t properly designed to put passengers in the rear like that. There have been cases reported of children seated in those rear “jump seats” getting seriously overheated on hot summer days. So far as I know, Tesla hasn’t solved that problem by improving the ventilation/cabin cooling back there.

                  Even though the rear “jump seats” can be factory installed, the reality is those are more like aftermarket additions, and have serious limitations.

        3. Nix says:

          “Me” — No, the EPA does NOT include the Frunk space in their calculations. Here is what Telsa gives for their cargo volumes:

          Rear cargo volume 26.3 cu ft
          Front trunk cargo volume 5.3 cu ft
          Total cargo volume 31.6 cu ft

          Here is what the EPA gives Tesla for cargo volume:
          26 ft3 (Hatchback)

          Using that value, the EPA rates it at 120 ft3. But with the Frunk, the actual volume is closer to 126 ft3. EPA puts the 7-Series at 128 ft3.

          Sources are fuel economy . gov and tesla . com

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            What is the interior passenger volume of the 7 series vs. interior passenger volume of the Model S?

            114 cuft vs 94 cuft.

            That is 20 cuft difference for the 2 row of passenger.

            20 cuft is a lot of passenger room difference for 5 people. That is 4 cuft more each.

            Sure, Tesla Model S got more cargo room but it won’t help making the passenger more comfortable.

            1. Nix says:

              It is sure a lot more comfortable for the 2 kids who get to sit inside the car, instead of having to be lashed to the roof with the family dog (Romney style)….

              /sarc

              Which of course brings up having room for a dog in the back, which absolutely no standard sedan can do.

              As far as the wagon comparison, it isn’t a wagon. But it sure absolutely annihilates luxury wagon sales of all sizes combined. The fact that you can use that space behind the seat in many different ways doesn’t reduce that space. All that space is still there, you just have WAY more options than a standard sedan with a trunk.

              It seems like you are complaining that since the Model S has superior configuration that is more flexible, and can be used more ways, that it is somehow cheating the EPA class. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

              Simply discounting and ignoring all that space, just because it isn’t reserved exclusively for the front 2 rows of seats absolutely does NOT make it into a smaller class of car.

              That’s like pointing at the wheels and saying they are more like what you would see on a high performance sports car than a 5+2 large luxury sedan, so therefore if we ignore everything else, it must be a sports car. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t just look at the space in the front and rear seats, and then say if you blind yourself to all the other space, that it is a different size car than it actually is.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                Yes it is superior to the cargo or the +2 kids in the bag. But for the front 5, it is INFERIOR.

                So, it all depends on what matters. Overall, it is more capable for the additional room, but the EPA classification is designed to compare the Front 5 mostly and cargo second, that is why Wagon gets its own classification.

                So, the “intent” of the EPA classification is mostly just the front 5 spacing. That is why Tesla is in the “wrong class”. It might be in a class by itself.

                1. Nix says:

                  Wrong. If the EPA’s intent were to simply classify cars on passenger volume alone, they would have classified cars on passenger volume alone.

                  They didn’t. They classified cars SPECIFICALLY based upon Passenger Volume PLUS Cargo Volume. There is no error. The EPA put the Model S in exactly the class it belongs.

                  “So, it all depends on what matters” No it doesn’t. What matters to YOU might be different than what matters to everybody else. But the EPA don’t give a rat’s backside about what “matters” to you. They do the cold hard math, and add X+Y=Z, and Z is the answer.

                  If they wanted to put a weight on passenger space over cargo space, they absolutely could have written the formula like this:

                  X + ( Y/2 ) = Z

                  That would have given cargo room less weight in the determination of size class. They didn’t.

                  No, you can’t simply substitute your own preferences for reality. The math is the math, and there is absolutely zero weight given to space in one part of the car or another. It is all given the exact same weight.

                  If you want to say that you personally compare it to another specific car due to one specific feature, like the wheel size or the cup holder size, or the passenger space, that’s up to you. YMMV.

                  But you can’t simply substitute your own personal feelings for what EPA class the Model S is in. That doesn’t change.

                  It IS a Luxury Large Sedan. That’s the hard math, based upon the long established EPA rules. If you don’t like the rules, go petition the EPA. If you can’t accept the rules, because they don’t match your personal feelings, or because you refuse to understand them, I can’t help you.

                2. Vertigo says:

                  It’s not a class of its own, it almost exactly parallels the Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS. All three are ‘tweeners’, similar price and usable space, giving up some rear passenger space for more luggage space.

                3. Red Sage says:

                  No. There is a seperate classification for ‘wagon’ as a benefit to manufacturers. The autobuilder submits their vehicles for consideration under the class of their own choosing. GM has been calling the BOLT a ‘compact crossover’ in their marketing — but they did NOT submit it to the EPA as an SUV. Instead, it is qualified as a ‘small station wagon’. That is the same classification as the Honda FIT, which I’m fairly certain has NEVER been marketed by Honda as a crossover. By the way? The Honda FIT is 1 cubic foot LARGER than the Chevrolet BOLT when measuring combined interior passenger/cargo volume.

      3. agzand says:

        EPA classifications are not accurate. Model S is not a large luxury sedan. It is midsize, and a lift back.

        It should be really compared to BMW 5 series and Merc E class.

        Some claim since it is as expensive it should be compared with S Class / 7 Series. But the counter argument is that in terms of profitability it is not comparable to those models. Mercedes/BMW make much more money on each S Class/7 Series, even though they are at same price as Model S.

        1. Nix says:

          agzand — The EPA categories are what they are, and they have been for a long time. There is nothing wrong with them.

          No, the back is not “just a liftback”. It is also configurable as third row seating for 2 children.

          There are no midsize cars that are 5+2 with a third row of seating.

          Also, Tesla actually gets ripped off on the EPA size classification, because the space in the Frunk isn’t counted at all. With the Frunk, it is almost exactly the same amount of space as the BMW 7-Series.

          What midsized ICE car has frunk space?

          1. agzand says:

            The problem is that you cannot stretch your leg in the frunk, and when your head rubs the headliner you don’t feel that luxurious. In terms of build quality, appointments and design Tesla is near luxury, you cannot even compare it to the new 5 series/E class. The only thing luxurious about it is the price.

            1. Nix says:

              Just because the space isn’t in one place or another based upon your personal preferences, absolutely does NOT change what EPA size class it it in.

              Sorry, you can’t make up your own rules, or cherry pick your own standards, and intentionally blind yourself to space in one part of a car or another, and then claim that makes the EPA wrong.

            2. BenG says:

              There is a huge luxury aspect in pure electric: the quiet, incredibly quick motor is a huge luxury compared to a gas motor.

              Never having to visit a gas station or an oil change station is a huge luxury.

              The Model S has the weight, interior and cargo space, and price of a luxury sedan, so it’s silly and pointless to make a big argument that it’s a midsize, even if it’s front 2 rows of passenger space is on the small size for a large luxury, it makes up for it with the potential 3rd row seating and the extra cargo space while giving the looks and performance of a sedan.

              1. agzand says:

                In that sense you can compare it to minivans or 3 row SUVs. Majority of cars that are used in this comparison are luxury 2 row cars. The main point of these models is space and comfort particularly in the second row. To make the point they need to at least add the 5 series/E class to the comparison, because they provide similar functionality to Model S. This is like eliminating the first and second place finisher in a race and claiming you are the first and greatest. If S Class was selling more they could just eliminate that for being too luxurious and again claim they are first. My point is it is much more likely to cross shop a Model S with a 5 series or E class than a S class or 7 series.

                1. BenG says:

                  I still think price is the most salient comparison point, and the average selling price of a Model S is far higher than a BMW 5 series.

                  Unless someone routinely carries 5 large adults, the Model S has plenty of space.

                  Performance, prestige, green credentials, etc … are why people spend $80,000+ on a Model S when they could get a BMW 7 series for the same money.

    2. Hans Blix says:

      100% True, there was a time Elon tried to convince people that the model s is not in that segment…
      Looks like he gave up and opted in for the good marketing fuzz.

    3. Red Sage says:

      Total Interior/Cargo Volume in Cubic Feet
      112 – Mercedes-Benz E-Class
      113 – BMW 5-Series
      114 – AUDI A6
      120 – Tesla Model S

      If you want the BMW to be classified as Large, please, tell them to give it a Frunk and a bigger trunk to increase its overall interior/cargo volume.

  2. James says:

    In above list only the 7-Series is new. All the others are rather old like 5-6 years. Even if there was no Model S their sales would decrease

    1. speculawyer says:

      Pfft . . . Other than the Caddy and the S-class, the others were NOT EVEN CLOSE. I don’t think a refresh would have them winning.

    2. przemo_li says:

      Sure bro.

      Buyers buy 4 year old car because they do not like to buy 3 to 5 year old model car, and if not for that 4 year old car, they would wait.
      OK. I’ve got it.

    3. Red Sage says:

      No. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class was renewed for either 2013 or 2014. It outsold Tesla Model S in 2014 and has been on a decline ever since. The Model S is continually revised, but had a ‘mid-season refresh’ in 2016. It has an 8-year product cycle, but sold through the equivalent of 11 years projected annual worldwide sales in only 4-1/2. That makes the Model S an unprecedented success. This achievement should not be downplayed.

  3. speculawyer says:

    And now you know why German automakers are FINALLY starting to get serious about EVs.

    Tesla DRANK THEIR MILKSHAKE!

    1. tftf says:

      …on borrowed lunch money.

      Sales only matter and make Tesla a viable company if/when it can make profits or at least generate enough operative cash to keep going in that direction.

      Tesla is still burning cash (likely even more so because of SCTY in coming quarters).

      Meanwhile, EV compettion will really heat up by 2020.

      There will be dozens of long-range EV and PHEV models by 2020 – and Tesla will have run out of tax credits well before that date (all “spent” on expensive S and X cars if the Model3 is even slightly delayed, which is quite probable).

      Most large competitors will still have “fresh” tax credits to squeeze Tesla’s Model3 as they newly enter the EV market by 2018-2021.

      Summary: With each month passing until 2020 Tesla (and MC Musk) has less of an unique story or “plot” to sell to investors.

      1. ffbj says:

        A lot of investors who have been saying things like this for years have not only lost all their lunch money, but some convinced others to give them theirs and lost that too.

      2. tosho says:

        The game will be over long before 2020…

      3. speculawyer says:

        Growing businesses use investment capital? Really? Wow! Such new news! You should call the Wall Street Journal and tell them about that.

        “There will be dozens of long-range EV and PHEV models by 2020”

        And then you go on to admit that they are scared and finally are getting into the game. LOL.

        1. tftf says:

          “And then you go on to admit that they are scared and finally are getting into the game. LOL.”

          Scared? No, battery pricing, infrastructure, more emissin regulations etc. will be at a tipping point for EVs by around 2020-2025.

          So it makes sense for large car makers to pump out EVs in volume. Very simple.

          A business plan that makes sense and is profitable.

      4. Nix says:

        tftf — you are probably the only person in the world who still believes that the $7500 dollar incentive will still exist in 2020-2025 for any car company.

        Not bloody likely.

      5. Get Real says:

        So serial insideevs troll and acknowledged Tesla-shorter tftf wrote “Meanwhile, EV compettion will really heat up by 2020.”

        And, he conveniently forgets to add that by 2020 Tesla will be in full production of hundreds of thousands of the Model 3 (and in full control of their own battery supply) by the time the laggard OEMs start to compete in this space.

        In other words troll, your shorts are circling the bowl.

        1. By 2020, Tesla will have updated the Model S again, and updated the Model X, have the Model 3 and Model Y; and quite possibly already be selling the Mini Bus, Pickup, and Semi!

          It would be nice to see an Executive Stretch variant of the Model S, at least, adding a 12 inch stretch, with about 2-3″ in front and 9-10″ in the back seat! Plus, that extra 12″ could be good for another 10-15 or maybe even 20 kWh extra!

      6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Sales only matter and make Tesla a viable company if/when it can make profits or at least generate enough operative cash to keep going in that direction.”

        Tesla bashers have been saying that for years. “Oh no, Tesla can’t possibly just keep borrowing more money to keep growing their production! They’re gonna collapse and go bankrupt any day now!”

        Same thing that “analysts” said about Amazon.com, just a few years ago. Funny thing… Amazon.com is now net profitable every year, and doing very well!

        Of course, the fact that analysts were pretty much all wrong about Amazon.com doesn’t necessarily mean they are just as wrong about Tesla. But one thing is certain: Tesla has so far succeeded much, much better than the vast majority of analysts predicted. And despite the constant wining of short-selling FUDsters like you, tftf, there’s no sign of it slowing yet!

        Go Tesla!

      7. Red Sage says:

        Dude. The ‘tipping point’ was 2013. The Model S has outsold every other flagship vehicle cumulatively since then, 2013 through 2016. Some have been outsold in combined sales. Your constant attempts to kick the can down the road or move the goalposts doesn’t change the fact that even with a fully redesigned 7-Series in 2016 and three times as many showrooms BMW wasn’t able to match or surpass U.S. Sales of the Tesla Model S in 2014, its lowest full calendar year to date.

  4. CDAVIS says:

    @OP Steven Loveday said: “…Tesla Model S and the new Chevy Bolt – a bit like comparing a filet mignon to a good cheeseburger…”
    ——-

    Hopefully in not to distant future addition of AutoPilot & supercharger network for the full combo cheeseburger meal deal.

    Imagine 5 years ago someone predicting that Tesla Model S would within five years outsell Mercedes-Benz S-Class by 60% and BMW 7-Series by over 100%…no one would have believed it. Will be interesting to see how the next 5 years shake out with the addition of Tesla Model 3.

    1. CDAVIS says:

      Motley Fool Jun 20 2011:

      “…The larger auto manufacturers have vastly deeper pockets than Tesla and economies of scale on their side. Tesla is running out of open road as it tries to work toward its stated goal of producing an EV that appeals to a wider audience…”

      source: https://www.fool.com/investing/high-growth/2011/06/30/tesla-motors-first-mover-or-investment-sinkhole.aspx

      1. tosho says:

        Deeper pockets? The traditional auto industry has almost no cash. It has just billions invested in various combustion engine technologies and production lines. It is true that the deciding factors will be efficiency and economy of scale. But it will be economy of scale of battery and electric drivetrain manufacturing. And Tesla is about a decade in front of everyone else there.

        1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

          Doesn’t anyone on this forum know how to read a balance sheet?

        2. BenG says:

          Tesla ain’t 10 years ahead of Nissan and GM.

          1. Red Sage says:

            Oh? There are versions of the LEAF and BOLT that can blow the doors off a Corvette while outselling the Cadillac ATS? Where dey at?

            1. BenG says:

              There’s a GM that sells for $38,000 and has 238 mile range. Can Tesla get anywhere near that right now?

              Nissan has the most global sales of EVs by far, and sold the most globally in 2016, if I’m not mistaken.

              Tesla is ahead, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t 10 years ahead.

              1. Red Sage says:

                There’s a GM badged product assembled in Michigan (but not sold there yet) from drivetrain, battery pack, and electronics systems provided by LG in Korea. Whoop-de-do! For my money, a few months is ‘close enough’. The Tesla Model ≡ will soon arrive and will likely outsell the entire Cadillac Division in its first full calendar year here in the U.S. The BOLT won’t, though. Because it was designed to be a marginal entry of little significance to GM’s annual sales. Perhaps 1% of U.S. sales across all Divisions and 0.3% of their annual sales worldwide. The Model ≡ is designed to be a superior choice to the ATS, MALIBU, and LaCrosse. The BOLT is designed to be an also-ran runner up to the SONIC and FIT.

      2. Robb says:

        Shows how much has changed since that quote from 2011.

      3. viatierra says:

        LOL! Investment advice from the good ol’ days when TSLA was trading at $25.00.

    2. speculawyer says:

      “Imagine 5 years ago someone predicting that Tesla Model S would within five years outsell Mercedes-Benz S-Class by 60% and BMW 7-Series by over 100%…no one would have believed it.”

      Indeed! I wouldn’t have believed it either and I’m a hardcore EV fan. I am very happy to have been so wrong! 😀

      Tesla has really been disrupting the sports sedan market.

      But now the big challenge . . . moving down to lower-priced markets. . .

      1. Nix says:

        The problem is that Tesla has said that the TM3 is the lowest priced car they have plans to build. Their next efforts are going to be a CUV, a sports car, and some sort of truck something.

        They would almost have to spin off a new brand name if they wanted to go non-luxury, like what was done with Saturn and Scion.

        I think VW/GM/Ford will likely have to be the ones breaking out the lower-priced EV market, since they will have to cover a percent of their sales in CA due to CARB. They will have to be the ones going true mass market.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          But VW/GM/Ford/ have little if any incentive to move down-market with EVs.

          No, I expect to see the EV down-market developed by BYD or some other foreign EV maker looking for a new market to expand into.

          I hope Tesla will eventually start making a truly affordable EV, but that may well not happen so long as Elon Musk is in charge. Elon has suggested he may move on after Model 3 production has been ramped up, so there is at least a possibility we might eventually see an “everyman” EV from Tesla. Just not within the next few years.

          1. BenG says:

            Tesla has always avowed the intent of making an affordable mass market car. If the 3 is a success then the Model Y (3-based SUV) could well be an even bigger success. Then they’ll have plenty of money to build a Model 2 that takes on the Civic and Corolla head on.

            1. Model S: Price Sucks for poor working grunts with no big investment wins.
              Model 3: Priced in the Mid 30’s, more reachable, but still a bit upmarket!
              Model 2? Maybe priced in the Mid 20’s, would be a GM Cruise Killer, with 2-5 Million units a year!

              Maybe Elon could help some good employees break away, to start a new brand, to build cars downscale from the Model 3? In about 5 years, and provide them the cells or batteries!

              1. John Norris says:

                There is no Model 2. Poor people can buy a Model 3 then send it out as a robo-taxi to earn money when they’re not using it.

                1. Nix says:

                  You joke, but that is exactly what Elon announced last Oct. Tesla is starting their own ride service like Lyft, and it will start with you being the driver. But later it is supposed to become autonomous. That is supposed to help consumers afford to own a car that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

              2. Red Sage says:

                You don’t understand.

                The Model ≡ is already a CRUZE killer. Just as it is a MALIBU killer. And an ATS killer.

                Someone who thinks they want to buy a CRUZE, or SENTRA, or Elantra, or Civic, or Forte, or Corolla just might decide to test drive a Model ≡ one day, on a whim.

                Then, if they crunch the numbers, and think about it a bit, and if they don’t REALLY need a new car immediately, and if they decide to stick it out with their old car just a little while longer… They’ll find they would be able to save a larger downpayment and move up to Model ≡ instead.

                That has already happened to BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class customers. They are all in Wait-and-See Mode or Save-My-Dough Status, anticipating that a Tesla purchase may be within reach… SOON. That’s why their sales dropped off a cliff in 2015.

            2. ModernMarvelFan says:

              BenG wrote:”Tesla has always avowed the intent of making an affordable mass market car. If the 3 is a success then the Model Y (3-based SUV) could well be an even bigger success. Then they’ll have plenty of money to build a Model 2 that takes on the Civic and Corolla head on.”

              Tesla also clearly stated that Model 3 will be the cheapest car they make. That is it.

              Anything less would be based on car sharing program, not lower price.

              There is NO Model 2, unless it is 2/3 of the Model 3 ownership in sharing.

              1. BenG says:

                Not true that Tesla has clearly proclaimed there will never be a cheaper Tesla than Model 3. Pushmi-Pullyu dug up the relevant quotes in another thread:

                Elon’s statement was not nearly as absolutest as I have seen it paraphrased, so mea culpa for repeating the inaccurate paraphrase.

                The actual quote, from July 20, 2016:

                “A lower cost vehicle than the Model 3 is unlikely to be necessary, because of the third part of the plan described below.” Musk then went on to talk about his plan for lowering production costs using “physics principles”. Based on more recent statements, it seems that what he was actually talking about there was not basic physics principles, but eliminating human workers by increasing automation.

                You can see his comments in their context here:

                https://www.tesla.com/blog/master-plan-part-deux

                * * * * *

                Contrariwise, not long before, during a talk in April 2016, Elon said “And there will be future cars that are even more affordable [than the Model 3] down the road.” (source linked below)

                So perhaps by saying anything lower priced than the Model 3 is “unlikely to be necessary”, Elon is just trying to avoid something close to (if not quite) the Osborne Effect.

                source:
                http://bgr.com/2016/04/26/tesla-model-4-price-elon-musk/

                So in April Elon clearly said there will be more affordable cars than the 3. In July he said “a lower cost car than the Model 3 is unlikely to be necessary”. That is hardly a clear cut statement that there will never be one. “Unlikely to be necessary” is hardly a binding pronouncement that they won’t make a lower cost car in the future.

                1. Nix says:

                  That does indeed muddy the waters. Perhaps he believes that the current price reduction rate for battery packs will allow the TM3 price to drop in the future. Perhaps combined with a version that may have less features?

                  That is the only way I can think that both sets of statements could end up being true, and non-contradictory.

                  Then again, maybe things changed over those months between the two comments?

        2. Red Sage says:

          That’s not a ‘problem’. In 2015 better than 38,000,000 used cars, averaging over $18,000 each were sold in the U.S. That dwarfs the now typical 17,000,000 or so new vehicle sales each year. Almost no one buys ‘cheap’ new cars. It makes more sense to buy older used cars. The best selling ‘cheap’ car is the Nissan VERSA and it barely crosses 100,000 units most years and is lucky to make the top twenty passenger cars. The much more expensive BMW 3-Series used to outsell it tremendously, but it seems the Tesla Model ≡ unveiling sort of ruined that. People who buy NEW cars have been spending over $31,000 on average for four calendar years straight. That has only risen in recent years, and will continue to be the case. You have to sell NEW cars before you can sell them as USED cars.

  5. trackdaze says:

    Be interesting to see when the model x actually follows the market for suv sales trend and exceeds that of its sedan brother and those in its class.

    Strong focus from ze germans on releasing electric suvs suggests this be the battleground and path to exponential ev sales.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I’m not so sure about that. SUVs appeal mostly to those who are unconcerned about the environment; electric cars appeal mostly to those who do.

      Of course, as the EV revolution progresses and EVs move more mainstream, the environmentally-conscious percentage of buyers will drop. But I question there will be much change in that direction within the next five years or so.

      1. BenG says:

        I fully expect the Model X to continue to increase sales and contend for top seller among ‘large luxury SUVs’, if they have truly ironed out the majority of reliability problems.

        I know some people will contend it doesn’t belong in that category, but by weight and by price it fits the bill, so it seems fair to me. Most people buying large luxury SUVs rarely use anywhere near their full passenger and cargo capacity.

    2. Red Sage says:

      I’ve been predicting that happenstance for some time. The Model X already outsells the Porsche Cayenne. Hopefully it will knock off the AUDI Q7, BMW X5, and Mercedes-Benz GL/GLS-Class this year. If Model X ends up outselling Model S by 2:1 it will be another sign of the end of ICE.

  6. Soumitra says:

    I never thought the biggest competitor of Tesla is Cadillac.
    Both Cadillac XTS and Escalade looks so awesome.
    German brands don’t even come near to comfort and reliability of TESLA. Tesla is much more comfortable and superb.

    1. Red Sage says:

      Cadillac has the largest distribution network for Premium vehicles in the U.S. They have over 900 ‘independent franchised dealerships’ in the U.S. Yet, during 2016 the Tesla Model S outsold every passenger car offered by Cadillac — through barely 100 sites while being banned in 24 States. I wonder how NADA explains that one…

  7. tortugamon says:

    5-Series USA Sales:

    2016: 32,408
    2015: 44,162
    2014: 52,704

    E-Class USA Sales:

    2016: 46,740
    2015: 49,736
    2014: 66,400

    If the Model S had an ICE than it wouldn’t be considered a 7-series/S-class competitor. I don’t see why the presence of electric motor changes a medium/large car classification

    1. Nix says:

      tort — you clearly don’t understand how the EPA classifies cars. It has absolutely nothing to do with the motor. It is based upon volume.

      110-119 == Midsize Sedan
      120-up == Large Sedan

      112 – Mercedes-Benz E-Class (closer to a Small car than a Large car)
      113 – BMW 5-Series (closer to a Small car than a Large car)
      120 – Tesla Model S (126 with Frunk)

      10 ft3 is an entire class different in size. The cars you list are 7-8 ft3 smaller without counting the Frunk (that’s how the EPA does the counting). They are 13-14 ft3 smaller counting the Frunk.

      Sorry, but no. They are not the same EPA size class, and it has nothing to do with the motor.

    2. Red Sage says:

      If it had a big huge honking smoking gas guzzling heat generator under the hood, instead of the additional cargo volume afforded by a Frunk, then yes — the total combined interior passenger/cargo volume of Model S would fall below 120 cubic feet and it would be a Midsize car.

      Coversely? Even if a BMW 5-Series, AUDI A6, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class had a generous Frunk they would all STILL be Midsize vehicles because none of them could make up their 6-7-, or 8-cubic foot deficit to become Large cars instead.

      Once again? It isn’t about wheelbase, or length, or track, or weight, or perceived levels of ‘luxury’ as arbitrarily applied by the marketing department. The Honda Civic Sedan is bigger than all three of those German vehicles where it counts — combined interior passenger/cargo volume — and is STILL MIDSIZE. And the Tesla Model S is larger still — that’s why it qualifies as a LARGE car. Whether you like it or not. So there.

      Do not be surprised to learn the Model ≡ is officially Midsize upon its arrival — not Compact like A4, 3-Series, and C-Class.

      1. Nix says:

        Red Sage — Great post, but it is the EPA does not include the Frunk space in their official size number. With Frunk, the Model S is actually nearly 126 ft3.

        1. Red Sage says:

          No. The largest version of the Frunk was perhaps 4.5 cubic feet not six. It is smaller now, with the advent of dual motors. The EPA rating includes the volume of the Frunk because it is additional interior luggage capacity.