Tesla Appoints New German/Austrian Boss + Model S Germany Sales Chart

SEP 19 2015 BY MARK KANE 37

Tesla Model S Registrations In The Switzerland - July 2015

Tesla Model S Registrations In The Switzerland – July 2015

Model S sales in Germany are not satisfactory for Tesla, while in the small neighboring Switzerland sales are high (at least in relation to market size).

The result is to draw in Jochen Rudat, Tesla’s boss in Switzerland, to take care of Tesla’s business in Germany and Austria, as well.

Tesla target for Germany stands at 1,000 Model S a month

Philipp Schroeder, the man in charge of Tesla Germany since February 2014, moves back to sales and marketing at Sonnenbatterie.

Tesla is not only not selling 1,000 cars a month in Germany, but hasn’t achieved near a four digit result to date.

On the other hand, Tesla Model S sales are higher than other plug-ins with a similar price tag.

“Germany does not offer incentives to buyers of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Tesla sells mostly to private buyers in Germany and has also struggled to win sales in Germany’s high-end fleet market.”

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

37 Comments on "Tesla Appoints New German/Austrian Boss + Model S Germany Sales Chart"

newest oldest most voted

The high percentage of business cars (70-90% in the high class models) prevents Tesla to reach significant numbers.

Business cars are mostly driven from workers of the own brand.

Germany is a hard nut to crack. Germans like to buy luxury cars from their own big 3. Germans also approach new things with a very sceptical outlook so they’re a hard sell. The lack of incentives is just the nail in the coffin.

Remember. Germany is different to most countries out there. Autobahn’s with no speed limits. The average executives that fork out a good 80000 euros on a car has several long trips between cities every month. In an bmw 7 you can do this an easyly average 220kmh 150 mph with out even getting sweaty palms. In a tesla yes it is not happening. Tesla is not going to see any big sales in Germany until they make an autobahn update that will let the model s go full throttle from 100% to 0% battery capacity.

12 000 Teslas per year in Germany. What would that be, something like 60 000 Teslas per year in the US to keep the same ratio.

Selling three times as much as in their home market on the home market for three of the top luxury brands in the world seems superrealistic 😛

If that would be their actual sales goal then they could fire the new boss straigh away…

Half the US ratio or about 2000 Teslas per year would be a realistic goal. With a big bonus for 3000 sales or above.

Tesla needs to fire the idiot at the top who came up with these ridiculous targets.

german media,particularly Auto-MotorSport has done a very negative publicity effect!!!

I suspect most Germans are convinced that German engineering and manufacturing are the best in the world. Worldwide demand for German luxury automobiles is high. Tesla has an uphill battle.

If the Model S is to compete with the German brands on the peddle-to-the-metal autobahn, Tesla needs to fix the battery overheating and power loss problem that occurred at Nurmburgring.

Having the Model S battery suddenly shut down while making a high speed run down the autobahn would be a huge negative for German luxury car buyers.

I haven’t heard much about the issue, so maybe Tesla has fixed it.

No, Tesla has not fixed the “issue” of the Model S going into reduced power mode if run at top speed on the Autobahn for more than very approximately 15 minutes, and perhaps rather less than that if it’s a single-motor Model S.

This is a fundamental limitation of BEVs with current battery technology. It’s not merely that Tesla needs to have a more robust cooling systems for the motor and the battery pack. If the cooling systems were improved sufficiently to allow continuous driving at top speed, what would happen is that the battery pack would be drained very quickly, and you’d get very much the same complaints (about the inability to drive at top speed on the Autobahn, or on racetracks) after making the car more expensive and a bit heavier. So no point in trying to solve that problem with the Model S or X.

Now, for the next generation Roadster, I can certainly see that Tesla might beef up the cooling systems to allow longer runs at top speed. But the Model S isn’t a race car or even a sports car, despite the fact that people like to drive it as if it was!

Nurmburgring and Autobahn are completely different things with completely different requirements. I have not heard of any issues with the Autobahn, neither do I see any reason for any issues.

The issue with Nurmburgring is you have a lot of acceleration and deceleration. In comparison, keeping top speed uses exponentially less power, thus far less heat.

On the contrary.

Full speed require a lot of charge. Electric motors are less efficient to more they spin (opposite to ICEs).

On Authbahn battery pack need to discharge a LOT of energy and that is generating heat.

Acceleration is too prone to this, that’s why ludicrous update.. updates primarily battery pack and electronics.

Deceleration generate current that is used to recharge battery pack – that generate significant amount of heat only at 80% battery pack charge if done for long time. (Riding down very steep mountain).

So top speed is as problematic as top acceleration for battery pack.

(I think only A123 had some battery chemistry that released enough current per cell to alleviate this issue)

Weapon said:

“I have not heard of any issues with the Autobahn…”

Well then, just Google [tesla model s autobahn] and see what pops up.

For example, this article appeared 4 months ago on InsideEVs:


But I see I was wrong about that 12 minute run being for a two-motor Model S; that was Bjorn in his Model S P85. So apparently the overheating doesn’t happen quite as soon as I thought.

He didn’t slow down because the car was slowing down by itself… he had to slow down because the speed limit changed.

Yes, but how much longer could he have continued at top speed before the car automatically went into reduced power mode? Probably not long at all. I haven’t seen any other report of someone being able to drive a Model S even as long as 12 minutes at top speed.

Should read: “pedal-to-the-metal autobahn”, not ‘peddle’ (duh)

I tend to agree that high percentage of business cars (70-90% in the high class models) is a big hurdle for Tesla in Germany.

And business cars being mostly driven from workers of the own brand makes sense.

Bottom line: realistic sales targets, penetration into business cars. Or keep improving sales numbers around Germany.

Sales of 1000 Tesla cars per month in Germany? Let’s keep in mind that European countries are about equivalent in size to individual States of the USA, albeit with a larger population. So that’s like saying that Tesla should be able to sell 1000 per month in some large-population State other than California; a State which has no State incentives for EVs at all. “For new Teslas, about 45% of the nation’s sales are in California, while [second place] Florida takes about 7.3%” (source 1). If we apply that 7.3% to Tesla’s domestic sales for 2014, and divide by 12 for monthly sales instead of annual sales, we get 105 per month. Actually it’s worse than the comparison with Florida, since in Germany a buyer won’t get the USA Federal incentives either. If sales in Switzerland are higher, perhaps that’s due to government incentives not available in Germany? Wikipedia says: “Switzerland has a car import tax which is 4% of the purchase price (before adding the VAT) which is waived for electric cars. Since Switzerland consists of 26 cantons which have their own legislature, additional incentives for plug-in electric vehicles differ between the respective regions.” (source 2) So that looks… Read more »

Tesla pays no import tax in Germany because the car is assembled inside the EU.

The 4% is virtually meaningless.

And in Germany foreign brands have 50% market share, same as the US.

Americans and Germans have the same cultural preference for domestic cars.

CA has a population of 38M
Texas 27M
Florida 20M

Germany 81M.
US 319M

81/319 = .25

US this year has averaged ~1800 Model S sales per month.

1800 x .25 = 457

1k is absurd.

Robb Stark said: “The 4% is virtually meaningless.” A 4% rebate on a $100,000 car is $4000. That’s considerably more than the $2500 maximum California State rebate, and over half the $7500 maximum Federal rebate. Robb, maybe you’re rich enough to say “$4000 is virtually meaningless”, but I suspect a majority of Americans wouldn’t agree with you; likely not even a majority of those rich enough to own a Model S. It’s a demonstrable fact that incentives have a great deal of influence on how many EVs are sold in a State or in a country. Logically, it appears the incentives have more of an effect than they ought to. But people don’t buy cars based entirely on logical motives; buying decisions are perhaps about half-and-half logical motives and emotional ones. Now, Robb, there is one weakness in my argument that playing musical chairs with the sales director won’t make any difference, and that weakness is this: The right person may be able to effectively lobby the German legislature to pass tax/sales incentives favoring plug-in EVs. That could have a very significant effect on the market in Germany. In fact, there is a movement in Germany right now towards doing… Read more »
Germans do not accept Model S as luxury car. They insist that German cars are much better and reliable. They change very often their cars (after 3 years) so the point where gas savings and tax reduction make the model S cheaper than any other German luxury car is never reached. 20 Minute of charging at supercharger a for a half SoC isn’t fast enough for Germans. Even typical 400 KM of range is because of unlimited speed on German Autobahn and lot of mountains in south Germany not nearly realistic. So Tesla cannot convince the Petrolheads here to have something they want. The circumstances are very different to situation in USA. The real costumes are “Greenheads” but even they hold an car more then 10 years and calculate gas savings and often have solar panels at home (so charging is completely free) the initial price for Model S is too high. This is the reason I believe Model 3 could have an big Impact in Germany. Low initial price. Saving lot of Mony (gas savings). Until then. Faster Supercharhing than 120 kW. Other EU countries help Tesla to sell their cars. And they have no bad press against Tesla… Read more »

There are some mistakes in this reasoning. First: many Autobahns have speed limits now. And where speed is still unlimited, the luxury cars drive between 160 and 180 km/h, not full speed of 200 km/h or more (although some do).

And there are hardly any Autobahns crossing the mountains, even in the south. They do in Switzerland, but there Tesla sales go well.

Anyway, it is a misconception that mountains limit range. The recuperation while going down and the lower speeds on more windy roads both cause that. I live in the Alps and my range is equal in the mountains and in the plains (with a Kia Soul EV).

So the reason for bad sales is neither the Autobahn nor the mountains in the south.

The lack of incentives might play a role, but not so much for people who can pay around 100.000 dollars for a car.

Therefore “image” is the main raison for the bad sales and therefore it might be good to put the man in lead who succeeded in giving Tesla the right image in Switzerland.

The real situation with Model S is that it is priced like a Mercedes S class or BMW 7 series, but in terms of luxury, space and amenities it is more comparable to E class/5 series. The reason behind this is that a $15k-$20k battery in Model S has the same function as a $50 empty fuel tank in a gasoline car, and adds a 1000 lbs weight penalty. While other car systems (engine/transmission/exhaust) are simpler, they are not much cheaper to build because other manufacturers make these complex systems in millions, which brings their cost down. From an engineering perspective a Model S doesn’t save owner on fuel. They pay the fuel cost for the life of the car upfront to buy the big battery. I am not against Tesla, although I am paying a tiny bit of the cost of the car for each owner through my tax dollars, it has its place, but widespread use of EVs still doesn’t make sense until technology improves further. Maybe this is the reason that Toyota is investing in fuel cells, they publicly said battery cars are not viable for mass market.

I didn’t know a 7 series or S class had a frunk

It’s all about marketing, Tesla has to try to attract more German women. Women also decide what car is bought. German man are more conservative and will go for the big German 3. Nevertheless the target is to high.

Model S is Sex

only thing someone needs to do is simply drive the car and your’e sold

Dont forget the last three price increases here in Germany due to the dollar. Model S70 would sell much better with 1€ = 1.36 US$.

All EVs dont sell good here.
The lobby is strong and from a cultural point people buy what they have good experience with.

It is beginning to sound a bit ridiculous that Germany wants to be a ‘green leader’ and yet they effectively encourage astoundingly anti-green driving by allowing you to go as fast as you like on certain bits of certain motorways. Anyone with a basic knowledge of physics can tell you how quickly an increase in speed raises the drag forces on a vehicle and this happens at an exponential rate.

At a rough estimate someone driving at 120mph is using a good 4 times the energy they would driving at 60mph. To what end? Sure it might be considered by some to be ‘fun’ (I’m OK with that!) but you do 60 miles in 30 minutes instead on one hour. Whoopy-do. MW

Compared to the massive coal burning, mining and even exports of coal power no speed limits are a drop in the ocean.

Germany has a lot of other things to do before being remotely close to green.

In response to the article about Bjorn’s 12 minute run on the Autobahn, someone estimated an 80 mile range for the Model S 85P. That’s just a bit over a third of the approx. 220 mile range it has at American highway speeds. (The EPA range rating of 265 miles includes a mix of city driving and highway driving.)

Let’s see, at 125 MPH, you’d drive 80 miles in 38.4 minutes. If you were going a long distance, that means you’d spend more time sitting still at Superchargers than you would driving!

Yes, there are entirely rational reasons the Model S doesn’t sell well in Germany, reasons having nothing to do with German preference for German engineering or international monetary exchange rates.

Germany without Autobahn is not Germany any more.
And Autobahn is a big reason why German cars are the best.
A luxury car is more than a drivetrain anyway, that is what Germans are probably Factoring in while deciding which car to buy.

Robb Stark said:

“…in Germany foreign brands have 50% market share, same as the US.”

That may be true in general for German auto sales, but is it true for cars with an average sales price of $90,000-100,000?

I’d like to see some figures, but my guess is “No”.

That is correct. Most foreign brands are focused to sell cars below 30000 €.

I copy a message from LarsT on the Tesla Forum, written by a Swiss Tesla owner who often drives in Germany as well. It shows that Autobahn driving is very well possible: I am driving a P85 in Europe and have some experiences with the speeds on the Autobahn here: Driven in Switzerland (Highway-Speed is 120 km/h = 75 mp/h) constant, I get around 205 Wh/km (328 Wh/m). Driven in Germany on the Autobahn at speeds around 150 km/h (94 mph), you can expect to see about 235 Wh/km (375 Wh/m). If driven at speeds around 170-180 kmh (110-115 mph), I average around 265 Wh/km (425 Wh/m). I have figured out pretty quickly, on what distances I can go fast. For example, I often drive Zurich to Munich (about 320km, 1/3 of it in Switzerland (=120kmh), 2/3 German Autobahn (180 kmh or faster), and I usually arrive in Munich with 40-60 km left. If I drive from Zurich to Frankfurt (410km), I have to limit myself to about 110 kmh to make it without recharging, which still is awfully slow in Europe (WE NEED SUPERCHARGERS FAST). I can truly say, that the Model S is a real Long-Distance-Runner even at… Read more »

This message is from july 2013. Now there are many more superchargers in Germany.

The report you cite confirms the driver is not driving the Model S long distances at top speed, which would be at least 125 MPH (201 KPH), or even faster depending on which version of Model S.

In fact, the report points out the same thing I pointed out: That you’d have to drive at significantly reduced speed to avoid spending an excessive amount of time recharging en route.

To everyone above, I think you guys are only getting half the story. One thing is the price point that goes against 7-series, the high speeds on autobahn, range, image etc, but I think the key fact is:

85% of luxury cars in Germany are bought by companies
Deutsche Telekom alone owns 38,000 vehicles
When choosing a car (as an employee in Germany) you simply don’t get to pick a Tesla as your car, simple as that

A friend of mine was an employee at a German company and when he was choosing his car, he could only choose from German brands, so basically high end non-German cars don’t have a chance to sell in high numbers


Yes, this is true. Therefore it is important that electric cars are on the tick list of big companies. In Holland the situation is the same: it’s the companies creating a tick list and employers chosing from the tick list. With the difference that Holland has no national car makers. But still is was originally not easy for EVs to get on this tick list. It was the government thatdid the trick with their incentives. They are directed at companies and not individuals. They lower the taxes companies have to pay. Not by a fixed euro amount but by a percentage of the price of the car. This makes EVs financially interesting for companies and so they put them on their tick list. And the employers chose them, since they are less taxed for private use of EVs/PHEVs. For Tesla this has helped a lot, since it is an expensive car. Because the incentive is a percentage, in euros the aid for buying a Tesla is much larger then for a Leaf. If Germany creates incentives, they could follow the Dutch example: make EVs financially interesting for companies, so they are put on their tick lists. And give much higher… Read more »

That is not true in the majority of cases you are offered both German cars and imports plus you can always get any car you want if you insist – it is just that for the most popular cars in the particular company they negotite the best deals, which closes the circle.
So it is easy, if Tesla gets popular, it will get good conditions and more share.