Bold statements need evidence. And numbers do not support this claim.
In its Q2 2019 Update, Tesla gave its investors very good news, as we have already told you. But it also made really bold statements: that the Model 3 was once again “the best-selling premium vehicle in the US" – which is true – "outselling all of its gas-powered equivalents combined,” as Electrek reported. But it did not inform the precise numbers. We searched for them and they deny Tesla’s last claim. In other words, the Model 3 did not outsell all competitors combined in the US.
For that, we counted on the numbers provided by GoodCarBadCar.net and went after all sedans considered as premium in the US market. The list is quite long, with 11 models: Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, Lexus IS, Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Volvo 60 Series.
Mercedes’, Audi's and Volvo’s numbers unfortunately also include respectively coupé and wagon sales figures, but the sedans normally count for most of the results. Even if they didn't, you would have to exclude all these competitors' sales to make the Model 3 outsell its “equivalents” in the US.
The main issue with Tesla’s claim is that it informs the “Model 3 deliveries reached an all-time record of 77,634.” That would be enough to beat the 60,999 units – really – that all its ICE competitors managed to sell in the US. But only if the 77,634 Model 3 cars were delivered only in the US. They weren’t.
|ICE Tesla Model 3 Competitors||Sales numbers in Q2 (units)|
|Alfa Romeo Giulia||2,311|
Tesla reports only global deliveries, as WolfStreet.com rightfully complains. And a simple look at Tesla’s report confirms that. Luckily, though we don't have exact numbers, based on our estimates — which are also published on GoodCarBadCar and elsewhere — American buyers got 44,550 units of the premium EV sedan. Hypothetically, if Tesla sold almost all of its Model 3 vehicles in the U.S. in Q2, its claim could be right, but we highly doubt that.
If you take worldwide sales of all ICE competitors to the Model 3, the sedan also does not beat their numbers with its 77,634 units. Unfortunately, there is no readily available source of world sales by models, but we have contacted our friends at JATO Dynamics to get some numbers.
We bet the C-Class alone sold more than that in the Q2. In China alone, it probably sold more than 40,000 units in Q2, according to Focus2move.
Tesla even claims that the Model 3 “gained traction in other markets” and that it “is approaching sales levels of established premium competitors”. A clear admission that it still has some sales catching up to do in these other markets.
The Model 3 sales are clearly being hindered by the Fremont plant limitations. When the Gigafactory 3 is at full speed in Shanghai, their numbers will surely skyrocket. And we do not even count with the Gigafactory in Europe – possibly in Germany.
Although the Model 3 sales in the US are really impressive, they still did not surpass “all of its gas-powered equivalents combined.” Tesla may try to address this by disregarding some of the competitors – concentrating solely on the main ones – but it is still not true. Maybe one day it will be. But not now.