Tesla Model 3 Outsold All Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars Combined

Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion

AUG 5 2018 BY MARK KANE 98

And passengers cars from BMW, Audi, Lexus and so on…

Here is a more detailed look at the Tesla Model 3 and its closest competitors in the segment.

Tesla already stated that the Model 3 outsold in July all other models from the mid-sized sedan segment in the U.S. But this new graph shows us how big the difference really is compared to a few particular models.

According to AID, around 13,000 Model 3 (numbers vary depending on estimations) were sold last month compared to just:

  • ≈3,800 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • ≈3,400 Audi A4
  • ≈3,200 BMW 3-Series
  • ≈2,100 Lexus IS

Well, Model 3 not only outsold particular models (all passenger cars except for maybe seven), but for example, it outsold all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars – ≈8,500 (SUVs excluded). Mercedes-Benz sold in total just 20,034 vehicles in July (down 22.7%).

Interestingly, Ford and Chevrolet don’t have a single passenger model that can beat the Model 3 in volume. That’s rather surprising to us, but what’s really intriguing is the outlook for the Model 3 in the coming months when production increase even more.

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98 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Outsold All Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars Combined"

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I get the feeling that Tesla 3 is taking sales away from Mercedes, BMW, Audi more than from other EV like Bolt, Leaf, IoniqEV, etc. Current price for 3 is much higher than other EV (about $17K higher than Bolt on sale), but 3 (post subsidy) is cheaper than most Mercedes, etc.

I made this chart based on data from Inside EVs:

Honestly, everything else will probably need fairly high incentives to survive except for a few lower volume cars. People of course will still buy Bolt EVs, etc as long as they are priced accordingly. It will be interesting to see what happens when $35k model 3 comes out.

Depending on the timing of the base Model 3 deliveries, they will likely get a diminished federal tax credit, and then not long after that they will get none. So its competition will be artificially sustained by that incentive until such time as Congress changes the law or others sell enough to trigger phase out and then proceed through the phases down to zero subsidy.

Other manufacturers are definitely already feeling the heat, and the $35k Model 3 will bring it more directly in competition with Bolt, Leaf, etc … , who will be forced to lower their prices to demonstrate value especially after the subsidy runs out.

Even without the incentives, I think the based Model 3 at $35K is still a better proposition than a base 3-series or C-class. Taking into account the long term savings in maintenance, repair and fuel, the Model 3 has a clear advantage. Its superior handling dynamics and acceleration are icing on the cake.

Remember that the base lacks the glass roof and comes with an extra helping of range anxiety ….

For a lot future drivers the base will be all they need that and Semi Autonomous ability

Considering that most of these EV “competitors” are production-constrained (aside maybe from Leaf in the US?), it would indeed be strange if Tesla was taking sales from them…

I don’t think Chevy Bolt is production constrained. A quick search of my local dealer shows 3 on their lot currently available for purchase today.

People are regularly complaining that the Bolt is hard to get outside ZEV states, and even harder in some other parts of the world…

Neither the Bolt nor the Leaf are production constrained in the U.S. when looking at the overall picture. The Bolt isn’t really stocked everywhere, so for some folks, it may still be a hassle to test drive and buy one. Anyways, right now, there’s just over 2 months worth of stock in Bolts across the country. And just under 2 months of stock of the ’18 Leaf.

The Ioniq is definitely production constrained and seems like it will remain that way. The rest aren’t really available, as the e-Golf, BMW i3, Fiat 500e, and so forth are pretty old tech at this point. They aren’t producing in big numbers nor sold in appreciable volume.

Taking sales probably isn’t the right term anyways. Likely, the Bolt and Leaf’s uninspiring sales figures were likely a result of plenty of people waiting for a Model 3 instead. So these cars didn’t make that much dent in the demand for the Model 3, rather than the Model 3 taking demand from these cars.

Surprisingly not exactly true. Top 5 Model 3 trade-in are

Toyota Prius
BMW 3-Series
Honda Accord
Honda Civic
Nissan Leaf

Trade in the rest is buying Tesla not European/Japanese cars

Leased are not traded in.

You have a source for that? Hard to believe that people driving prius’, civics and leafs can all magically afford a $55,000 car.

Hondas are the most premium Japanese non-luxury car, I count 3 out of 5 of those models as quasi-premium. Honda has been neglecting Acura a lot …. Civic and Accord are great-handling cars, well-updated …

Little light-hearted humor for a Sunday morning:




Total annual Tesla Model 3 deliveries in 2018 will be about 140,000.

Seems a rather low-end estimate. It would amount to about 110,000 produced in the second half of the year, or only about 4,200 per week on average… While that’s in line with what Tesla is projecting for Q3, we should see more than that in Q4. I’d say some 160,000 deliveries for 2018 are pretty likely.

140k is a bit conservative, maybe 145-155k. That’s equivalent to all non-Tesla plug-ins sold in the US in 2017. That is also more than all Nissan Leaf’s sold in the US ever, which may hit 130k by end of year. Matter of fact, if it hits 157,000 total by end of 2018, then it would be pretty close to all Nissan Leafs and Chevy Bolts ever through end of 2018 (~170k).

Soon as much sales as Mercedes Benz, that is not bad. It is impressive that Tesla reached 80% of their sales.

Satisfying initial demand is different than ongoing yearly sales. Notice the model S/X volumes.

My hunch is they will be fine, I think they are emphasizing international deliveries for those right now to reduce load on US delivery centers. They are still making something like 2k per week of those.

They can not keep losing money, they have to have a solid date for making money or Musk would resign.

Correct, that solid date is Q3 and Q4 this year. However, I would expect minimal profits or slight losses every quarter as long as they are expanding (maybe 10 years?)

Cash flow is all that matters but agree it’s better to be profitable

They have a solid date, they are making a slight profit on the Model III already. It was communicated during the Q2 earnings report. Profitability for them is tied to manufacturing refinement (as stated), negotiating better prices with suppliers (as reported), and not making large capital investments (which is why the China factory is going to be interesting).
Incidentally, if you know anyone looking for work, have them check out Tesla.com careers. They are hiring a lot of people as their business grows.

Kudos to Tesla but the BEV Mercedes are coming in that famous 2020 time frame…

Well, they announced some cars to come. But now that the emisson targets are changing, who knows if these vehicles come to the US? And the plan is to produce about a whopping 20 k per model and year of those Mercedes BEVs. For the entire worldmarket. By then, Tesla will be making that many Model 3 every fortnight.
And in order to steal sales from Tesla, one has to make a vehicle that is superior to Tesla technologically and also cooler as perhaps also cheaper. I seriously doubt that Mercedes can pull that trinity off after years of dragging behind. What they can likely do is to make a BEV that is superior to ICE, because that is really not that difficult, when you have the assets and the money. So one can guess which sales the Mercedes BEV is going to eat in first. It surely will be their own ICE sales, if the vehicle is superior to Mercedes ICE. If it is deliberately designed not superior to protect the product line of gas-guzzlers, it will likely be sold as well (like every other EV), but eat into another laggards ICE sales. Which is both totally fine.

Some Guy – “…now that emission targets are changing….”

No, the only people who think emission (or gas mileage) targets are changing are the Trump administration lackeys. This is what happens when people take the word of Trump and his minions as actual news. The Trump administration has PROPOSED these emission and mileage standard changes. That most definitely does not mean it will happen

Fortunately, the U.S. courts are not yet full of Trump appointments and the rule of law will still prevail. Trump and his EPA will not get these rules changed since they violate logic.

But elections matter people. Vote out the Republicans this November!! This will be the only way we keep American great.

I believe loosening requirements may hurt traditional auto in the longer run.

Although many companies just worry about the next quarter.

Supreme Court belongs to Republicans now.

emmison standards in europe are changing rapidly until 2022. so all BEV that Mercedes build might be assigned to the EU. How much US gets is still in the books.

Lmfao, logic is not the issue. It is all about the law. The EPA is part of the executive branch. Trump can do what he likes with it. Lower courts may delay implementation based on political activism, but the Supreme Court will uphold the President’s right and duty to run the executive branch 9–0.

He actually can’t. The EPA has a mandate to regulate pollutants and if they feel they don’t want to do that, they get sued to do it. That’s why the courts have already issued several orders for them to enforce rules they tried to walk away from and why the last time they tried ripping up the CARB waiver that the Clean Air Act guarantees, they lost. Any different outcome this time around is solely due to corruption.

Where did you see that they only plan 20,000 per year?

The only non-Tesla manufacturers to announce more than 100k/year production plans are Nissan and VW (with the Neo).

In Norway, which is Tesla’s third biggest market, sales of Tesla Model S and X will drop significantly when Audi, Jaguar, Porsche and Mercedes starts delivering their EV’s (Jaguar now as we speak).
Within 9 months all these are available to simular or lower prices than Tesla.

Just saying…

Not certain whether sales of S and X will decline but all in all, that’s great news! If I recall didn’t Elon open source all of Tesla’s patents a couple years back exactly to try and jump start this sort of development. BTW do any of those car companies you mentioned have a gigfactory, or is it more cottage industry levels of production they are looking at?

Who cares. All you’ll be getting is overpriced German junk. Can’t compete with Tesla SW and battery. Germans not good at that.

German EV business model will be same as ICE business model. Overpriced and average reliability. Magically each service visit will cost an arm and a leg.

Reminds me of a joke Pushmi-Pullyu told recently here about an average family.

From article: “…Model 3 not only outsold particular models (all passenger cars except for maybe seven), but for example, it outsold all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars…”

Anti-Tesla wolfpack leader Jim Chanos said:

“…. I don’t care that it [Tesla Shares] came from $30 or $200 or $300. That’s just meaningless. We think the [Tesla] equity is worthless… Tesla is not a leader.” source:


So according to Jim Chanos “worthless” Tesla “is not a leader” in the EV automotive space.

Delusional Jim Chanos…

Anti-Tesla wolfpack leader Jim Chanos is not only loosing big $$$ shorting Tesla… he also has huge losses on his Dunkin Donuts short position:

“Chanos announced he’s been short Dunkin’ Brands and Restaurant Brands International for “about a year.”” source:


How big is Chanos’s loss on Dunkin? … how does a monster over -40% sound? Or relative to S&P500 a bigger monster over -65%!

Project Dunkin Chanos:

All Tesla owners and Tesla reservation holders….

Every Monday on way to work purchase a dozen Dunkin’ Donuts for the office coffee break-room in honor of Jim Chanos… each purchase hurts Jim where it counts… his Kynikos Associates fund’s reputation… which is heading towards WORTHLESS.

Why, oh why, did he also bet against Dunkin Donuts? That’s just insanity. It is an established brand supplying sweet, greasy foods to fuel American palates, and coffee that is more efficiently sold than the barista-oriented competitors. They also sell souvenir baseball caps, for those looking to a brand experience leader. Short of a not-a-flamethrower, I’d say they are working off the right playbook.
You know what I’d be shorting right now? Sears. Radio Shack, and someday in the not too distant future, Valvoline.

Ya Know XOM was the largest company in the world for some time, looking at things over a ten year horizon, might not be a bad company to short. I would guess, guess, that at the current state EV penetration is limited to 30-50%, that being almost entirely because it takes so long to refuel. An EV makes a perfect commuter town car, but I would think if driving 400+ miles for a vacation or what not you would want something that refuels in 3 minutes not 1+ hour. (I am assuming that’s about what’s needed for a full charge at a supercharger station). However, if EVs displaced say 20% of ICEs over ten years, not only would this decrease consumption but there would likely be knock on effect of combustion engines becoming more efficient to try and compete with the lower cost of ownership of EVs. U.S. oil consumption has been stagnant for what a decade or more. If anything close to resembling this rate of adoption continues for ten years it it hard to make any case where oil consumption does not drop globally. Wouldn’t that be fun making a killing off Exxon going down the tubes, and… Read more »

With a little research, Chanos might consider shorting Kynikos Associates funds.

You can almost feel the panic/hysteria in Chanos’ words as they see their losses mount

Tesla claims that top 5 trade-ins for model 3 are:
The Toyota Prius, the BMW 3 Series, the Honda Accord, the Honda Civic and the Nissan Leaf.

Mercedes and Audi isn’t even in the top 5, only BMW 3.

M3 Owned- Niro EV TBD - Former 500e and Spark EV,

That’s because all the BMW owners were waiting for the Performance edition 😉

Let’s see how Q3+Q4 numbers look with the Performance edition available– may be catching some peoples’ attention.

This is also evident that MB current Owners that buy the Model 3 are just ADDING to their vehicle fleet, paying cash or financing them, but not trading in their current MB’s.

That’s an important aspect to point out. Many able to buy a car in that price bracket, pay cash for them, or just add to what they already have. For example, with many trading in their MB car for a MB SUV, and finding they are getting tired of driving the big box around every day, everywhere they go, they buy a Model 3 for their daily commuting and keep the big SUV for road trips/weekend shopping/hauling, etc.

I would have bought a C class convertible were there no Model 3.

Looks like Honda should worry as the % of Honda trade-in are in the 70% range!. A few more months of this and second hand Honda prices will crash. Leading to poor new sales left!!!.

That stat doesn’t come with enough additional information to make any real judgements beyond the initial look which is that plenty of people are trading up from outside the segment.

If the Model S conquest information from years ago is any guide, then the conquest of individual car makes/models is a very small percentage. So if each one of these is say, 2-4%, then you have lots and lots of makes and models clustered together. Without the look of the actual percentages, that’s hard to tell.

The sedan market is dead. Most housewives are looking for SUV. The Model 3 will dominate the sedan market for years to come.

The Model Y better not look like an egg or it will suffer the same shortcoming as the X. Tesla has enough battery to make it look like a true SUV.

If you think Tesla is going to deliver a boxy CUV with a flat roofline as the Model Y, then you haven’t been paying attention to the importance Tesla places on maximizing streamlining to reduce drag… at all.

The ICE sedan is dying off, and being replaced with the electric sedan. But what the ICE auto industry is focused on is getting the $6k to $8k premium for a crossover/SUV compared with a sedan. Even though the build cost is about the same on the same platform. So automakers are pushing suv’s hard for higher profit margins. And their idea is that if they limit the sedan options, consumers will have no choice but to buy another higher prices suv. Ford is playing that game, and why they are killing off their sedans and hatchbacks, and offering 90% trucks vans and suvs. But that’s about to backfire because the Model 3 is making it obvious that consumers want their electric sedans.

BTW, the Model X is also showing that in the same price range, the consumer prefers the electric sedan, offering all the handling benefits of an EV.

You mean Model S, right?

Or saying the Model X shows that in the same price range consumers prefer the electric SUV … upper end Model Xs do compete very well in the high end SUV market.

The EV sedan is only doing well because that’s all that is offered. There are no electric crossovers available today. The Model X is the closest thing, but it’s neither capable nor practical so cannot be considered a real crossover. People just don’t want sedans anymore. I don’t get it, I hate crossovers, but the market is definitely speaking. MB is seeing more than 50% of C-Class lease-ends being replaced with GLCs, for example. Once the Model Y comes out Model 3 sales will collapse.

Households are adapting to having <= 1 car only.

No it’s a bloodbath because the Asian car companies (especially Korean) are dumping sedans to prioritize market share over profits using their deep-pockets banks to ride out this storm …

Total annual Tesla Model 3 deliveries in 2019 will be more than 360,000.

At this rate, Tesla’s aim in capturing the US and Canada markets mean exports will be limited. Unless they tent up a few more lines to double that number!. Rest-of-world will have to wait even longer for Model 3!.

Many records have fallen by the way side. Mainstream media outlets are giving the news about record sales of Model-3.
But don’t count this as victory. MB, BMW, Audi could reduce the price of their models and try to get some market share. They have big margins on those cars. Sooner Tesla launches the standard $35K model, better it is for them.

What makes us think that Chevy has not sold any car at this rate when they have not revealed their car sales. Seems some agencies have their sales info.

But there’s (at least seemingly) always cash on the hood, so how much lower do they plan to realistically go?

Same story for all other “luxury” brands and probably even for FCA.

“..Ford and Chevrolet don’t have a single passenger model that can beat the Model 3 in volume. That’s rather surprising to us,..”

It shouldn’t be. Car sales have been cratering in the USA for years. Crossovers are what people are buying. Even the Toyota Camry is outsold by the Rav4. I expect the Tesla crossover (Model Y?) will 1 day outsell the Model 3.

removed – I replied to wrong comment.

We’re about to witness carnage in the German and Japanese auto industry the likes of which haven’t been seen in any industry in perhaps a century.

You mean like BlackBerry 10 years ago? 🙂

Ha ha. I’m aware of the comparison but was thinking of something even bigger.

You mean like BlackBerry (and entire phone market) 10 years ago? 🙂

More like 40 years or so, from whenever the Japanese automakers first came to the US.

Camry and Corolla beat Model 3 in annual sales and production.

and ? Funny how people move the target. Many were talking about never being able to produce the 3 or Tesla going bankrupt. Model 3 isn’t in even in a full year of production. Camry and Corolla have been around for many years and are the top selling sedans but in an old ICE technology. They are dead on the vine and their days a very numbered my friend.

But do they beat Model 3 in profitability? It’s obvious Tesla is going the Apple route. Tesla possibly won’t take majority of market share but they will take the majority of cash.

“Ford and Chevrolet don’t have a single passenger model that can beat the Model 3 in volume.”

Of course not looking at July sales figures, becuase GM stopped reporting monthly sales. So they don’t have any model data to compare it to.

Even so, Cruze would probably be the closest, and July is usually not a strong autosales month, and Cruze sold around 15,000 in US and Canada in June according to GM Authortity website.

GM Authority has sketchy numbers. I think the Cadillac ATS figures are lies. Perfectly identical month-to-month? Come on!

Plus the fact that Ford regularly sells 15-16K fusions a month. July just happens to be their annual lagger month due to model year changeover so last month was “only” 10.8k

The Civic, Prius, etc. Trade-ins reflect what I’m seeing in social media. I have to believe at least a subset of these folks really have no business dropping $50k+ on a car. Thw questions I see posted about 7+ year loans make me cringe.
They bought into the hype of a $35k offering and then pressed forward when only the more expensive model was offered. I suspect these same people are the ones with $1000 iphone Xes. Sigh…

At least it won’t depreciate anywhere near as bad as the equivalent BMW or MB and as long as they got the full autonomy upgrade (or at least capability), it can probably start to make money for them at the tail end of those seven years, something the competition definitely isn’t going to be able to easily replicate.

Tesla vs Mercedes/BMW is an Apple iOS vs Android comparison. The Apple iPhone might be the best selling single model of phone, because much like Tesla, there is only 1 iPhone X (like the Tesla 3). But Android phones far outnumber Apple phones because there are hundreds of phones running Android, much like Mercedes has over a dozen models available.

Mercedes sold 300k+ cars in the US, and also 300k+ cars in Germany. Mercedes sold 2.3m cars globally in 2017.

Daimler has chosen to buy cells on the open market, mostly with SKI. Their ability to ship BEVs is heavily constrained by SKI’s capacity. They have 4 GWh of capacity in SK, but their 7.5 GWh plant won’t start producing cells until 2020 and won’t hit 7.5 GWh until 2022/2023. As for LG Chem, they are at around 15 GWh now, but their cell output is split up amongst a lot of difference automakers.

In comparison, Tesla has 20 GWh of cell production at GF1 now, about 30 GWh total, and going to 45 GWh total in the next 6-9 months.

All are expanding, but it is worth noting that Tesla looks to be about 1/3rd of all automotive LIB production in 2021 including China, and probably well over 50% of battery production going to non-Chinese vehicles in that time period.

I’m still surprised that anybody thinks this is news. Lest we forget, Tesla had 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3. That is going to make the Model 3 a massive seller for at least 2 years. The pent-up demand for this car is impossible to overstate.

Also, it’s worth noting that July was a categorically horrible month for MB sales. This shouldn’t be surprising, though. The C-Class is in the middle of a changeover and hasn’t even been produced in more than a month (the 2019’s start arriving in September). The CLA, GLE, and GLS are likewise at the end of their product cycles and will be replaced in the next 6 months. The S-Class will be replaced next year. With that many of their key vehicles MIA or near the end of their product life, you kinda have to expect poor sales.

None of that takes away from the MASSIVE success of the Model 3, but it’s important to consider context. It would be a lot more noteworthy to talk about how many normal priced sedans the Model 3 outsold, rather than an aged Benz lineup.

How about caddy CTS?

Rounding error vs. TM3 sales.

Can you imagine if Tesla produced the model Y (small-SUV) instead of the model 3?

I think it’s amazing Tesla has 350,000+ order of model 3’s when most car companies are phasing sedans out.

what were the sales #’s in July for:

Toyota Prius
Honda Accord
Honda Civic
Caddy CTS

Prius family (all variants, including Liftback, C, V, and Prime) was about half of Model 3 sales for July.

Prius sales have been sagging for the last couple years. They often lose out to the Fusion Hybrid in monthly sales. They’ve been running ~5k per month lately. Accord was 25k in July.

:)) all Mercedes models combined but except the most popular ones. I think it is the last time when I enter this website.

There is not a single popular MB passenger car that the Model 3 didn’t outsell, and it outsold all of them combined. This information is correct. Of course, it didn’t outsell all the SUVs. It’s absurd to even think that that would be the case. The SUV segment is hugely popular in America. The Model 3 is not an SUV and is making no attempt to outsell SUVs in the U.S., although it will likely begin to outsell several. The title doesn’t say it outsold SUVs and it is very clear in the article that SUVs are excluded. The article is also based on multiple other sources that say “all passenger cars” and that data is correct. We’re sorry if you decide to stop visiting the website even though the info being shared is correct. The point is that an electric car is outselling related luxury vehicles in the U.S., which is a huge positive for the segment. As an EV fan (Tesla supporter or not), this is very positive information for adoption in the segment. It’s something to be excited about and surely IEV will promote such things. If and when the Model 3 happens to outsell an automaker’s… Read more »

But Mercedes earns money.

For now. It’d be interesting to see a chart of profitability over time for the last year for Merc. Based on the above chart it’s surely decreasing.

I’d say about 50% of america is sick of – – –

1. American companies making crap, trailing-edge car designs.
2. American companies whining about vehicle fuel efficiency and safety programs.
3. American companies cycling through SUVs, Muscle Cars, Oil Price Spikes/Wars, Bad Econoboxes, SUVs, Muscle Cars, Bad Econoboxes, etc. – forever – to generate needless sales!
4. America fighting wars to support these evil car and oil companies.

Tesla offers a way to give the middle finger to all of these companies, I hope, FOREVER! With a solar array on your roof or with windpower, we can rightly PUT TO DEATH these companies once and for all!

And you can have FUN doing it!