Tesla Model S Grabs 8.4% of Luxury Vehicle Sales in US in First Half of 2013


Tesla Model S Grabs 8.4% of Luxury Sales in US in First Half of 2013

Tesla Model S Grabs 8.4% of Luxury Sales in US in First Half of 2013

As we reported more than three months ago, the Tesla Model S outsold its closest competitors in the luxury sedan category in quarter one of 2013.

It wasn’t even close.

Sales Chart Provided Within Electrification Coalition Report

Sales Chart Provided Within Electrification Coalition Report

Model S sales in Q1 were peggeed by the company at 4,900 units, here’s a look at the Q1 US sales results for the Model S’ closest competitors.

  • BMW 7-Series: 2,338 units
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class:  3,077 units
  • Audi A8:  1,462 units
  • Lexus LS:  2,860 units

Okay, with Q1 in the bag and Q2 now over, how did the Model S fare in its segment for the entire first half of 2013?  We know that YTD sales of the Model S through the end of June were around 9,850 units, but what does that mean in the context of the entire luxury class of automobiles?

For an answer to that, we need look no further than the results of a study released today by Electrification Coalition (EC), in consultation with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

According to the study, title “State of the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market,” the Model S grabbed a shocking 8.4% of the “luxury market” in the first half of 2013.

8.4 % is astounding when you consider that plug-in vehicles only represent around 0.53 percent of all new automobiles sold in 2013.  So, in this regard, the Model S is way ahead of the curve.


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35 Comments on "Tesla Model S Grabs 8.4% of Luxury Vehicle Sales in US in First Half of 2013"

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Not surprised at all.

For consumers who buy/lease the Model S, it is not their ‘only’ car. They will have other car/SUV(s) in their household. So they do not worry about range for long road trips.

And with a 300 mile range, and the option for dual charging at 10KwH at home, faster than everything else in it’s class, well executed, and zero emissions, it can’t be beat.

Luxury automakers are scrambling now trying to get their 300+ mile EV to market before Tesla takes even more of it away.

Which is why GM and Ford are racing to get a 200+ EV range midsize car to market, before Tesla targets them next. The Lincoln MKS Electric is coming soon…..

I don’t see GM “racing” to get their 200 mile EV out.

but I’d like to be convinced otherwise.

I am not convinced, you hineyhead

The dual charging is 20kW (10kW each), providing charging up to 80A @ 250V (each charger capable of 40A @ 250V).

GM and Ford “racing” to get a 200+ EV to market? Really? That’s some sweet insider information…………*ahem*

The only major automaker for which one could make that assumption is BMW. They have their own “i” sub-brand for their dedicated plug-in lineup. They will compete with Tesla in the applicable EV segments, in time, but not right away: given the gestation period for the i3 (due out Q2 of 2014 in US), Tesla’s GenIII 200+ mile sedan (late 2016) will have a backlog of 20,000 orders worldwide before the i8 (a plug-in sport hybrid) darkens the US BMW showroom floors. The i3 would barely have 20,000 worldwide sales by then. There’s been no prototype, much less a production-ready third “i” vehicle from BMW announced as yet. No direct Model S or X competition for several years, of that we can be sure.

You know this has got to have the attention of the luxury car makers. Tesla will be encroaching upon their turf far quicker than on GM’s turf.

I think Tesla is also bringing some customers to the Luxury market that would not otherwise spend that much on a car. There are many stories of people saying that Model S is twice or three time what they have ever spent.

This is very true, Josh. There was an article recently on another site that asked the question, does the Porsche Panamera plug-in hybrid compete with Tesla? Well, the answer is “yes” but only within a narrow market. I have wracked my brains on a monthly, if not weekly, basis to try to figure out how I could afford a Model S without putting me on a dangerous paycheck-to-paycheck margin. That thought has never once crossed my mind for any version of a Panamera or anything else in its class. There are many people that have done/said the same thing on Tesla forums and in the comments at the ends of articles on sites like this one. In fact, I have always considered that class of vehicle to be inexcusable and irresponsible on multiple grounds (not the least of which is the gas guzzling) regardless of income level. Not so with the Model S. Buying a Model S is worthwhile R&D funding, as far as I’m concerned. Besides, since people are going to buy this class of car no matter what I think, then at least they have the compelling option of buying a Model S instead of a me-too guzzler.

Even if I can afford it, I can’t force myself to spend that much on a car. You can buy a decent house in Michigan for $100k.

…and just about anywhere else than where I live.

What you said was my last argument to stop concerning myself about it. It’s not worth the mental acrobatics. I just can’t reasonably afford it, and it is a car, after all. It can be scratched or totaled just as easily as my $30k hybrid. I made up my mind to wait for GenIII.

It’s $100k is only if you want to spend that much for luxuries. Mine was $64.5k with some options and before the $7.5k tax credit. I got the 40kwh and that is all I need for the BEV in our household. Even if you need 250 miles of range, the 85kwh model is just under $80k not $100k.

A decent house start at 650000 $ in the Brussels area, that’s almost 10 Tesla Model S. If houses are a point of comparison, then a Tesla is a bargain…

I completely agree, I would never consider an equivalently priced Panamera or S Class, but am going to get a Model S. I am not looking for the luxury aspects of a car but the state of the art electric vehicle makes it worth the expense.

I got to wonder if Tesla’s relationship with Mercedes will come back to bite them or help them?

I also worry of the Mercedes presence at Tesla. They really apply an “if you can’t beat them, join them” mantra but to what end? It is way more likely it is to slow Tesla down or sabotage them, than it is an enthusiasm of seeing a competitor chunk away market shares. Beside Mercedes is still financially in the hands of Deutsche bank which is almost Gulf oil nation’s exclusive territory.

For one, I‘d like Tesla get along without Mercedes just to make sure they don’t get an opportunity to sabotage them.

Yup, our Model S,delivered in June, was right at 3X what we have ever spent on a new car. It was 4X what my first house cost!

At this stage of life, I had lusted for a high performance sports car, but my/our environmental values vetoed even the Porsche Cayman. The Model S presents many of the visceral rewards of a performance car, but in a 5 passenger format that leaves no pollution in its wake.

“no pollution” ??? wait, where does the electric come from? unless you’ve got a solar panel charging your car, then your electric comes from a fossil fuel. You’ve got a longer tailpipe with an electric car, but you’re still burning something to charge it. Natural gas cars will dominate the market sooner and cleaner and better than electric will.

Please keep in mind that the model S’s fuel tank at a whopping 85 kWh is only equivalent to 8.5 liters of petrol. So your long tail pipe is only equivalent to a petrol car that does 1.8 liters/100km. The target for US cars by 2016 is 6.6 liters/100km 3.6 times greater. Assuming gas cars will be fairly average that’s a pretty hopeless power station at the end of the power line to mean that a model S is more polluting. Especially since you can easily add renewables to the grid where as mixing in significant renewables into the gas will be tricky, even if you use bio-gas. Gas in the states is also increasingly coming from unconventional sources so results in the production of thousands of liters of polluted water and increased green house gas emissions from leaking gas wells.

An old statistics indicated that EV drivers have a more then 60% chance of having solar panels on their roof. This means that they not only drive electric but that they are likely to have green electricity as well. The more, the KWh produced by those panels then to be higher then what their EV car use.

We’ll I can tell you that here in Ontario over %60 of our power comes from nuclear, hydro or wind. That’s pretty clean to start with but at night when most EVs would be charging it would be %100 nuclear. But it gets even crazier. At night because they can’t shut the base load nuclear plants down we have an excess of power. The hourly spot price for electricity gets cheaper and cheaper to the point where it is NEGATIVE! The IESO, which is the organization that operates the grid, has to pay other areas to take electricity from it! Also what they do is to use excess power from the nuclear plant at Pickering is they will spin the wind turbine backwards so they don’t have to pay to have the electricity taken away. It is an absolutely insane situation and I can’t imagine a better argument for electric cars. The government should be letting evs charge at night for free

By the way all this information about spot electricity prices going negative is available online at the IESO’s website. It usually happens in the spring and fall on mild nights

I have 80 solar panels on the roof of my house. I put them there after/because I bought my Tesla. The solar panels pay for themselves in 7 years. The Tesla won’t pay for itself (I save about $5000/year on gas vs. my previous 20mpg car), but I’m happy to be the early adopter to drive down the price for later adopters, just like I’m taking advantage of those people who were early adopters in solar. So, I have 3 reasons for doing this: 1) Republican: I use no gas and no electricity, so I don’t pay money to regimes that want to kill us. 2) Democrat: I’m saving the whales by using no gas and no PG&E electricity. 3) Dutch: the solar panels will actually make me money (total no-brainer), I get free electricicty for 23 years after the 7 year payback. So 3) doesn’t work for the Tesla — it’s just fun as hell to drive.

if you use $3.50/ gallon for gas, that means you drive about 29,000 miles per year. This also means you likely drive long distances. Your Tesla can not do that yet, as there are not enough recharging locations.
Also, you assume 23 years of steady functionality of solar panels, but they degrade over time and the warranties are explicitly written to account for this. So, the solar panels are only to their peak efficiency the first year.
Tesla batteries cost more than the cars (according to Tesla), so the car is scrap after a few years, as is the battery, which is full of toxic waste.

“8.4 % is astounding when you consider that plug-in vehicles only represent around 0.53 percent of all new automobiles sold in 2013”

My numbers are pretty close
40,284 plug-ins / 7,820,966 total cars = 0.52%

Plugins are grabbing about ~0.2% of new car sales

Oops again, 0.2% is Volt sales.
Here’s the chart of plug-in sales overall (top one)


6-month sales

Model S = 9,475
S-Class = 6,211
BMW 7 series = 5,075
Audi A8 = 3099
Lexus LS = 5,247

The numbers show that Mercedes Class S is the biggest loser to the Tesla Model S, so what is Mercedes doing in Tesla?

I thought that Tesla reported about 4,900 Model S deliveries in their Q1 earnings call back in May.

Yes, 4,900 is the number, not sure what happened…typo perhaps. (Its not like we don’t have a big old graphic with the numbers or anything, lol)

/fixed, thanks Tom!

quick! The August 7th (?) Q2 earnings call is going to be interesting! The sales figure will be just US deliveries.

I can’t remember offhand if they reported their total production, as well as sales, for Q1. I don’t think they did. If they don’t for Q2, then the sales figures will disappoint, because of the European models that are shipping but not delivered, thus not part of the sales data.

We won’t know the real scope of their Q2 capabilities until the Q3 earnings call, when there will be European sales to report that will have made up for Q2’s remaining production not accounted for in Q2 sales.

Great news like this seems to be good and bad . . . it is amazingly impressive that a new car company can swallow up that much of the market with their second car (and first original car). But at the same time, you wonder how much more of that market they can steal away from the existing companies? Not everyone is yet comfortable with EVs.

They really don’t need to steal any more away for the Model S, although I do think they can and will go higher. The current pace of 20k for North America is fine. The are adding Eurpean sales now and will add Asia later this year. 10K in those two markets will mean 30k/yr worldwide. Besides, as mentioned by other posters, they aren’t stealing 8.4% since a portion of that is adding to the market.

That comfort level is changing fast. The Leaf and its owners are spreading the news, as are the proud owners of the cheaper and fun Spark EV, not to mention the Model S owners out there, the PHEV people who increasingly try to avoid using the ICE at all, and even people like me who have no EV experience but believe in the experiences of others to be accurate and spread the word accordingly. I agree that Tesla market share is impressive, but I think it is pretty clear that Tesla is going to continue to gain market share. There are no prototypes announced that will directly compete in price, size and performance to the Model S, none that will compete with the Model X, and only one that will compete with the GenIII sedan (BMW i3). BMW is the most significant long-term threat right now. The i3 is a sound design for an EV, but a pricey city car, competing with the Spark EV and Leaf (both much cheaper), while the REx version competes with the Volt and Ford Energies of the world. The i8 is not due out for a few more years, and it’s only a two-door… Read more »
I think Tesla should seriously RE-EVALUATE their relationship with MB! OK Mercedes bailed them out when they were in need…fine, but now….they are direct competitors. Its starting to smell FISHY. Let me explain…. Tesla went to mexico bought a Mb Smart ..gutted it & put in an electric drive train. It was very refreshing… Mb CEO drove it & liked it, gave Tesla the needed loan.OK.that was 2008. Now Mercedes got a rude awakening, offered Tesla a power train business to make smart EV. But that was deceptive….they only did that to learn how to engineer it. You know what happened next…they got the knowledge and outsourced the work to their homeboys ..BOSCH. Once Mercedes got away with that the dared again. Let Tesla build another mule Mercedes B-CLASS …..I will bet that job will be outsourced to BOSCH too. Again when Mercedes gave Tesla the loan they saddled them with a contract clouds that shows the real intentions of MB. The clause said that Tesla could not make that power train to any of their competitors….well that clause elapsed this year. I sincerely hope Tesla won’t be hindered again. After all Tesla has already paid Mb investment handsomely in… Read more »

I think you are a bit wrong. MB didn’t give Tesla a loan but invested in Tesla. That clause wasn’t so strict I guess, because Tesla also made powertrains for Toyota RAV4 EV. Toyota btw, also invested in Tesla, don’t you think they should abandon them too and how do you want to do that? Buy back their investment? Pretty expensive with todays stock prices.

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