The premium/luxury car segment in the United States is becoming more and more electrified, with a growing share of Teslas.

According to the latest data, provided by Automotive News, the segment noted about 616,970 vehicle sales during the first quarter of 2023, which is 23 percent more than a year ago.

Automotive News Research & Data Center estimates that Tesla delivered some 170,000 units, which translates to over a 27.5 percent share in the premium/luxury segment. Tesla's growth of 55 percent year-over-year is also more than two times higher than the segment's average, which indicates that soon Tesla might take a third of the segment.

Meanwhile, other manufacturers are trying to electrify their lineup and sell more all-electric cars.

BMW sold some 82,466 vehicles in Q1 (up 12 percent year-over-year), and 17 percent of that was rechargeable (about 14,000, including 6,588 BEVs). Nonetheless, BMW is now two times smaller by volume than Tesla in the US.

Lexus sold 68,251 vehicles during the period (up 6 percent year-over-year), including a small number of first BEVs.

Mercedes-Benz noted a 1.2 percent decrease to 61,531, but its BEV sales are booming and amounted to 7,341 (up 251%).

Audi was fifth with 52,763 car sales in Q1 (up 49 percent year-over-year), and 4,438 BEVs.

Premium brand registrations in the US - Q1 2023:

  • Tesla: about 170,000 (up 55%) and 27.5% share
  • BMW: 82,466 (up 12%)and 13% share
  • Lexus: 68,251 (up 6%)
  • Mercedes-Benz: 61,531 (down 1.2%)
  • Audi: 52,763 (up 49%)
  • Total: 616,970 (up 23% year-over-year)

As we know, not everyone perceives Tesla as equivalent to other premium brands (an apple-to-apple comparison), but as of now, the automotive industry lists Tesla among the premium/luxury brands.

It will be very interesting to see whether the premium/luxury brands will be able to defend their market share and general position or if they will struggle in the coming years of fast electrification.

Let's note that besides Tesla, the premium segment now also includes Rivian and Lucid, which will also take their share.

Some premium brands are trying to fight back through deep electrification, but the outcome is not certain. In the future, the list of top premium/luxury brands might be completely different.

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