Quirky Fact: Toyota Prius Ranks #1 on Tesla Model S Conquest Buy List – LEAF is 7th

FEB 11 2014 BY JAY COLE 31

So What Else Are Your Driving Besides This Model S?  A Prius You Say?!?

So What Else Are Your Driving Besides This Model S? A Prius You Say?!?

When you think of the average buyer for the Tesla Model S – you know, the person putting down on average about $85,000; what do you imagine that person driving in with?

I Really Like This Shade - Reminds Me Of My Toyota Prius - Said No One Ever (via Tony Schaefer)

I Really Like This Shade – Reminds Me Of My Toyota Prius – Said No One Ever (via Tony Schaefer)

A Toyota Prius was probably not your first guess – but it quite likely was.

The LA Times has published a reporting saying that the number 1 conquest brand for the Tesla Model S is Toyota at a lofty 15.5% of all sales.  Of that, the Prius is the most commonly owned vehicle in that grouping.

Add in Toyota’s premium Lexus division and more than 1 in 4 (25.4%) Model S owners were in the Toyota family of cars at time of purchase.

The second and third most owned vehicles from Toyota was the Highlander SUV and Sienna 8 passenger van; those units ranked 5th and 6th overall on the conquest list.  The highest ranking plug-in conquest was the Nissan LEAF at #7.

Proportionally speaking, owners of McLaren cars are the highest percentage of buyers of the Model S according to IHS Automotive analyst Tom Libby who tracks registrations.

If You Own One Of These, You Are Practically Guaranteed To Own A Tesla Model S Too

If You Own One Of These, You Are Practically Guaranteed To Own A Tesla Model S Too

Other traditional luxury makers score high with Mercedes-Benz at 11% and BMW at 10%; while owners of a Ferrari, Lotus, Aston Martin or Maserati are also likely more likely to purchase a Tesla.  Libby explains why:

“It is either because they are so wealthy that they can add another toy to the collection, or they could be looking for a more practical vehicle. They have a family of five and it’s hard to take them anywhere in a Lamborghini.”

Check out the whole article at the LA Times for more information.

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31 Comments on "Quirky Fact: Toyota Prius Ranks #1 on Tesla Model S Conquest Buy List – LEAF is 7th"

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I hope Tesla’s owners never drive like a Prius folks :/

Well, it probably feels faster at normal, around-town driving speeds…it’s a hell of a lot quieter than some of those cars…not to mention significantly cheaper…

This shows the brilliance of the Model S design. It appeals to many buyers across many segments of vehicles. Price is really its only barrier to growth.

Things will get really interesting when they open reservations for Model E.

Perhaps all those years of driving a prius saved enough money for them to afford the Tesla. Or, perhaps the prius drivers always had money, they just weren’t susceptible to the brainwash that most people are. I have a prius. I could also write a check and buy a Tesla outright without a loan if that is what I chose to do. Personally, I think the imaginary race car driver excitement experience design to fill the empty space in a person interior is a bit boring . Kind of like playing video games or some other mindless junk.

As someone once said,

“It’s the ELECTRICITY, Stupid!”

You have totally missed the biggest result of this survey:

The largest chunk of Tesla Model S buyers are NOT “Rich vanity-toy collectors”, but people who do it out of environmental vision (which is why they come from the Prii and even the Leaf, more often than from another luxury car).

The Prius has made a great contribution in the environmental respect. No one can take away that credit.

But it’s now been a good 15 years since it was introduced – time for automakers and drivers to move on towards what has now become technologically and economically possible. You too can send this signal to your local Toyota dealer, by demanding a plug-in version the next time your car is due for replacement.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Alas, the plugin Prius is rubbish compared to Volt, Accord or even the Outlander.

Toyota’s being leapfrogged, and they don’t seem to care all that much.

No argument there, but for a die-hard Prius loyalist the plug-in version is a start…

The Prius right now is so common in my area that all parking lots have at least two to five of them in it at any one time. If a electric is able to mach that in the next five to ten years it would be a good start.

As of now though I think the Tesla is the most useful of the electric cars when you compare it to other luxury cars in it’s class like the Lexus. Such as I have looked at $80,000 Lexus in dealerships for the fun of it and they only get 30 miles a gallon while a Tesla gets free supercharging and low cost power. Also they have a saying that most rich people are like Mr. Krabs trying to save every penny they can in expensies. So why not if you want to show off your wealth you can buy a Tesla and penny pinch at the same time in a cool car.

Sorry Bro but your dissin on Tesla buyers is way off the mark. I drove a Prius for 4 years. Loved it because I burned less gas. As soon as the wait times dropped to less than 3 months, I ordered a Model S. I love it because I burn NO gas. Yes, as someone said that someone said, “It’s about the electricity, stupid”.

Painting Model S owners as shallow gear heads reflects on your lack vision, not them.

And by the way, I did a analysis of my break even point on the Prius vs an Accord when I bought the Prius and it was like 8 or 9 years. So, no one was “saving money” driving the first popular hybrid. Though, I did avoid state sales tax but that barely covered a cup holder in the Tesla.

Disgusting spin by the “analyst” who provided this story to the LA Times.

He was out to smear Model S buyers as rich vanity-toy seekers.

His data contradicted that to a large degree: the most common previous car was the lowly Prius, with the Leaf – not exactly any rich guy’s sporty toy – at #7.

He still went back, and stuck to his original pre-conceived notion by drawing attention away from the main find and towards trivial ones.

I wouldn’t view Tesla owners as selfish in that you see a lot of them in hospitals and doctor’s offices. So in my view I view a lot of the owners good at what they do to afford one. Also in the early days plasma TV’s and other common place things inducing the black and white TV’s where owned by the rich before they became open to the masses.

What’s the percentage of Model S owners who have an i-MiEV? I’ve definitely know that one guy is around here.

This, and stupid Toyota management still is so far from executing an immediate current-battery-generation pure EV strategy that they are actively against it. I guess they figured they innovated and changed the industry once, why should they ever want to do that again?!?!?

I think the Nissan Leaf could still fight back angst Tesla if they release their mass produced 150 mile Nissan Leaf next year instead of waiting to 2017 which in turn could wreak Tesla.

but its ugly

I have talked to a lot of people about my Model S. With guys, a lot of them volunteer that the Model S is the first EV that actually looks good and they could see themselves driving it. Derogatory Leaf comments are common.

Then your friends haven’t seen a Ford Focus Electric.

The reason why 15% of Tesla buyers traded a Toyota is because Toyota has a 15% market share. Let’s not read more into this than there is.

Actually toyota/lexus/scion share is 13.6%, vs 25% of Tesla Model S buyers. But to further dispute your point, why hasn’t 18.4% come from GM vehicles and 14.9% from fords??? Maybe, just maybe, there is no correlation.

I think a lot of it has to do w/Tesla’s high-sales areas. Most people on the coasts drive imports (Toyotas) vs. domestic cars.

Volt and Model S is the best car combo

Nah, the Volt makes the Model S redundant 😉

Toyota doesn’t need EV’s. It’s targeting the unmet burgeoning demand in the hydrogen-car market.

My wife and I have been Prius drivers for years from the first generation MY 2003. In 2010, we were thinking about a Lexus HS250h hybrid. I was wondering at that time why Toyota/Lexus did not choose to electrify (plug-in) at least this costly 40 000$ Lexus. We decided to wait for the Chevy Volt and finally purchased one to replace our Prius. My dream car would be the Tesla… but it is too costly for my us. I really don’t understand why Toyota/Lexus avoid electrification (The Prius Plug-in is not an electric car… try to floor it in EV, the internal combustion engine kicks in!) and are talking about hydrogen fuel cell only for future. This article is the proof that they are loosing lot of business… Is Toyota/Lexus slave of Big Oil Companies?

Is it considered a “conquest” if you don’t trade in or sell your original car? How many of those McLaren owners sold them? I’m guessing a Tesla is just another car in their collection.

Valid point. I still have my prius, handed it down to my oldest son though it is still in my name. Still, it’s a conquest for me.

That is b/c lots of Prius owners bought their car b/c they want to be “green”. They hated the car but since it is a “symbol” of being green, they had to drive them. Now that a nice EV is actually available, they quickly upgraded….

Same goes with some of the LEAF owners. Back in 2010 and 2011, they didn’t have a choice. Now they do, they upgrade to the latest and greatest…

I wouldn’t be surprised to see that once 200 miles Model E is here, Volt owners would be on that top 10 list as well….

> That is b/c lots of Prius owners bought their car b/c they want to be “green”. They hated the car but since it is a “symbol” of being green, they had to drive them.

All the Prius drivers I know (and I know quite a few) didn’t buy the Prius as a symbol, they bought it to cut their use of fossil fuels and CO2 emission. They don’t give a damn what other people think about it.

I think that Prius owners like their cars. I have rented them several times and like to drive them. The Chevy Volt is much nicer however, with a little less room inside.

The Tesla Model S takes it up another few notches. Definitely a nice upgrade for Prius owners, and frankly also for owners of any car made today.


Plenty of the Prius owners in the “Rich zip codes” area bought it b/c they want to appear to be “green”.

Now, Tesla is the new symbol, they can easily upgrade to a much better car while still keep up the image of “being green”.

This is not a quirky fact at all. Part of the reason Tesla was created was that the founders notices a lot of silicon valley people that had a Prius and a Porsche in their driveways. An eco-car for going to work each day and a sports car for weekends. Why not provide a car that satisfies both needs? Poof .. . Tesla was born.