US: Tesla's Lead In Premium Car Segment Extends In Q3 2022

After nine months, the company already has a six-digit advantage over the BMW, which is number 2.

2021 Tesla Model S 2021 Tesla Model S

Tesla is responsible for nearly two-thirds of all battery-electric car sales in the US so far this year and has gained an increasingly stronger and stronger position in the premium/luxury segment.

Yesterday we noted that in January-August 2022, some 458,786 new BEVs were registered in the US, including 298,383 Tesla, which means 65% share of the BEV segment.

According to the Automotive News Research & Data Center estimates, Tesla is also the top brand in the premium/luxury segment.

The total sales in the segment are estimated at 539,807 cars and light trucks in the third quarter alone (up 7.1%), out of which some 114,000 (or 21%) are Tesla cars, according to the report.

Tesla's result was 47% higher than a year ago, which also means that the company is expanding several times faster than the segment, gaining higher and higher share.

For reference, BMW increased its deliveries in Q3 by just 3.2% to 78,031. That's enough to be the best of the rest in the premium/luxury segment, but the year-to-date gap to Tesla has extended to over 112,000.

In third is Mercedes-Benz with 72,389 units (up 31%), followed by Lexus (67,524 - down 17%) and Audi (39,267 - up 20%).

Some of the other premium brands are not only much smaller but also struggle with production constraints. For example, Volvo (21,631) was down 32% in Q3.

There are no indications that Tesla's position might be challenged in the near future, which means that the US is experiencing a true turning point. Previously, the premium/luxury segment was dominated by European brands.

On top of that, there is also a big chance that US brands, like Cadillac and Lincoln, at some point will start to expand quickly thanks to a switch to all-new, all-electric platforms. Cadillac is already delivering the Ultium-based Lyriq model, which will be later followed by the Celestiq.

Another important point is that the changes applied to the federal tax credit will favor locally-produced electric cars, rather than imported ones, which means that we will probably see more and more US-made BEVs, even from European brands.

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