Tesla Model 3 Sales Against Its Nearest Rivals

OCT 3 2018 BY MARK KANE 28

There are no contenders for the Tesla Model 3.

Tesla is selling more and more Model 3 and has now left behind all of the other premium models of comparable size in volume of sales.

It’s not a surprise to us though, as the Model 3 is one of the top-selling passenger cars of any kind in the U.S. now., even outselling the Toyota Corolla.

The Model 3 already emerged from production hell (but is still running at just over half of anticipated ultimate capacity of 10,000 a week). Even so, it managed to work out an advantage of 50% above the second best-selling model from its class through the first eight months of this year:

Sales results in the U.S. between January and August of 2018:

  • Tesla Model 3: 55,882 (78,132 through September)
  • Mercedes C-Class: 37,571
  • BMW 3-Series: 31,116
  • Audi A4: 23,012
  • Lexus IS: 15,595 (17,393 through September)

Categories: Sales, Tesla

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28 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Sales Against Its Nearest Rivals"

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…and that is with a slow start for the first 6 months.

How about an 18 month slow start, AKA the Bolt.

I am not sure what the Bolt EV has to do with this?

Well, then it’s not a rival of the Model 3, Right you are.

It isn’t other than range, that is my point. It is meeting GMs sales targets for the car, was never going to be high volume. It is a nice little car, but not competition for the Model 3 for most people.

I probably should not have mentioned it.

Actually, you seem to not recall when Lutz, GM’s CEO, and GM as a whole, combined with Fox news, etc all claiming that the bolt was competition and would outdo the model 3.

Bob Lutz can really spin some yarn, suggesting the Chevy Bolt “would outdo the model 3.”

I have said it all along, Tesla with their products is the only American auto OEM to ever challenge and beat the Germans in the sport/luxury market.

As such, they are a serious threat to the German mid-high end auto manufactures and this is primarily why they are starting to (slowly) pivot to adopt (hopefully compelling) electrification. And yes I know diesel-gate also helped.

Now when Tesla enters the Model Y and gets out a pickup with obviously more factories they will likewise become a huge threat to the even more laggard, legacy Detroit “big 3”.

Disruption of a static, non-innovative industry at its finest.

Why build a factory when you can just buy out fiat or the Chrysler brand with its Jeep lineup and use the factories and profit margins to build up your ev assets

They can say what they want, the only similar thing is they are both electric cars.

As I have said for a while, companies will fail if they see Gas ICE cars as trucks, SUVs, cars, sports cars, etc and group all EVs as just that: “we have all these great vehicles over here, our truck line, our SUV line, and then we have these things called EVs the government makes us make for those environmentalists”.

The failure is they are marketing EVs that appeal to a small number of eccentric individuals like myself (I like Bolt EV, i3, etc). Tesla gets it and makes cars appealing to everybody.

Don’t get the wrong way, I’m a big EV fan but the Toyota chart shows 235000 ytd sales for the Corolla and 78000 for the Model 3. The months now are great for Tesla and well earned but you have to keep in mind these are deliveries of sales made over the last two years, it will peak as deliveries catch up with orders then drop off unless Tesla starts a push to entice hard core ice owners to test drive thier cars. Thats got to be the next step and it may take a dealer network outside of large urban centers to do it.

So far Model 3 is ramping up steadily overtaking other sedan and in September it managed to outsell even Toyota’s perennial Corolla.

About future sales: did you know there were only ever 12,000 reservations for Model S? It ended up selling at a rate of ~40k/year without too much sales efforts.

Tesla really doesn’t need to do anything. since I received my Model 3 I’ve had two hard-core ice guys drive it, love it, and one purchased the performance version. I am sure many of us Model 3 owners have had such experiences. Just a few minutes behind the wheel of a Tesla makes you want more.

If Tesla was only ever selling the $49k+ versions of the Model 3 that they’re currently making, you could be right. The market for the Model S and Model X seems fairly steady at around 25-30k a year each in the US.

But when they start cranking out the $35k+ base model, that changes things. Imagine getting a Tesla for the same price as a Leaf or a Bolt. Tesla has established its brand and the base Model 3 is going to sell like crazy.

A dealer network will not work with tesla because teslas don’t need oil change every 3000 miles, spark plug changes so dealerships won’t have repeat customers to upsell unnecessary maintenance and repairs LOL. I will never forget the honda dealer that told me I needed gold plated spark plugs for $300 at my 30,000 mile service visit, I said hell no but I wonder how many people got suckered lol GO TESLA GO DESTROY DIRTY GAS GUZZLERS AND DIESELS

I am koolaid drinking fanboy for sure. But i agree maybe a better comparison chart would be sales (new orders) over a specified time(monthly, quarterly, annually whatever). instead of deliveries that have been backing up for a couple years….

Then why doesn’t Toyota have their own long line of EV reservations?

They have had 2 and a half years since the Model 3 reservations began to launch a Lexus competitor. They failed.

I have had my TM3 LR for 9 days and have given 6 test drives and 1 ride along (all first time electric vehicle virgins). All of them were stunned by the drive characteristics. They referred to the interior as relaxing and minimalistically elegant. 1 said a Tesla will be his next vehicle, and another said his car savings fund will be used for a TM3 will be his next vehicle. I heard one of them, as he was walking away, excited called his father and told him, “You have got to drive this car!”

The difference between Tesla and the other OEMs, is down to the sales staff. Tesla has engaged and energized fanboys and drivers, OEMs have their dealers who are nonplussed about selling EVs even if they have customers come in who have been primed by existing owners.

In the US, VW may be the first ICE OEM dealer to change their “nonplussed about selling EVs” tune, real soon (12 months?).

Nissan has been really dragging their feet with the Leaf, and Chevy has not really gone “all in” with the Bolt. Hyundai/Kia may be able to ramp up some surprising production numbers, with their new compelling EV offerings, but it’s still wait and see, with the LG Chem battery production ramp up, for all of the Hun./Kia, Bolt, and the “coming soon” 2019 60 kWh battery Leaf.


You may need a new keyboard; your Caps Lock is stuck and the punctuation mark keys aren’t working either.

I’m also a huge model 3 fan, but just a note that BMW cannibalized a lot of its own 3 series sales by introducing the 4 series, so the impact of this comparison is lessened a bit. I still see the model 3 crushing the entry-level luxury sedan market for the foreseeable future!

and yet, M3 outdid BMW M[234] COMBINED. So, BMW may cannibalize its own models, but it is Tesla that is destroying BMW.

Looks like for the month of September Tesla sold about twice as many EV’s in the US as all the other car manufacturers combined.
Did a short seller say something about the Tesla killer competition is gonna destroy Tesla. Oh that’s a good one hahahaha.

Just curious, do you have sales numbers for the Toyota Mirai?

Yes. They are in the report card below the questions, labeled as ALSO OF NOTE.

159 in September