Tesla Model S Sales Just Behind Mercedes-Benz S-Class In Europe

OCT 27 2015 BY MARK KANE 68

In Western Europe Tesla Model S already breathing down the neck of Mercedes segment-leading S-Class (source: EagleAID)

In Western Europe Tesla Model S already breathing down the neck of Mercedes segment-leading S-Class (source: EagleAID)

So far this year, the Tesla Model S is the top player (in terms of sales) among premium cars in Europe.

With 10,600 deliveries in the first nine months, just hundreds separate Tesla from taking first place from Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Meanwhile, the BMW 7-series and Audi A8, with over 2,000 and over 4,000 deliveries respectively, dropped out of the race.

“Germany’s car makers, and prestige sector leading BMW, Audi and Mercedes in particular, received their second shock in little more than three weeks when AID compiled data for Western Europe revealed that in the nine months to September this year Tesla’s Model S has not only outsold previous sector heavyweights such as BMW’s outgoing 7-Series and Audi’s A8 by some considerable margin, but has also sunk its teeth into Mercedes’ top-notch S-Class, which of late has made Europe’s luxury car segment almost its own”

“AID’s message to Europe’s leading manufacturers of pricey luxury cars, Tesla means business and Europe’s high-brow prestige car makers have to learn to live with ever-increasing competition for some of their status-conscious customers…”

About one third (3,243 Tesla Model S registered this year in Europe though the end of September) were bought in Norway.

Source: EagleAID

Categories: Sales, Tesla

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68 Comments on "Tesla Model S Sales Just Behind Mercedes-Benz S-Class In Europe"

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Bwahahah, German cars suck s***

I’ve owned a VW, 2 Audi’s and 2 Mercs… and I have to agree with you.

This article cherry picked one car model from one manufacturer to throw a positive spin on Tesla sales. Here is the complete list of plug-in sales in Europe from ev-sales.blogspot.com.

Pl Europe Sep. 2015 % ’14Pl
1 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.849 19.574 16 1
2 Nissan Leaf 1.890 12.761 11 2
3 Renault Zoe 1.649 11.693 10 3
4 Tesla Model S 1.059 10.626 9 4
5 Volkswagen Golf GTE 1.192 10.226 9 22
6 Volkswagen e-Golf 760 8.665 7 9
7 Audi A3 e-Tron 824 7.964 7 19

Of course what do you expect to compare BMW series 1 sales with Tesla? Mercedes S and Tesla compete directly.

Its easier to sell in Europe, than in the United States.

Between corrupt US Automakers, Dealer Associations and Politicians actively blocking sales & service centers, Tesla’s geographic capacity to sell in its own country, is ironically constrained.


Here Fossil Fuel companies rule since +80 years.
WE are the biggest polluters on this planet as WE subcontract OUR consumerism crap in China.
There must be a revolution in Petroland if we are to survive as a civilisation.
Renewable Electric revolution that is…

WE are seeing the inherent advantages of compelling EVs like Tesla Model S. Build them and they will outcompete the well-established competition in their segments!

In any case, this example of American competitiveness will not make the serial Tesla/Musk-haters here very happy.

How do these stats look in countries where the S-Class isn’t taxed into being 2x as expensive as a Tesla? Right off the bat you can eliminate 1/3 of the Tesla sales because they took place in Norway, and then you can probably eliminate a bunch more from several other heavily price-preferenced countries. Guess what? Things that cost half as much as similar things usually sell better!

And the Mercedes is the incumbent heavy-weight with years in experience, is not manufacturing-constrained, spends millions on advertising and lobbying the government. Guess what? You can explain away anything you like, but things are changing. People don’t want polluting autos anymore, and Mercedes (and the others) haven’t done enough work to address the change in demand. Their marketshare is inevitably going to erode

@EV Driver,

You missed the point. It’s not about Tesla not “better” in terms of preventing pollution and whatnot. It’s about the validity of the comparison from the data used in this article.

S class is a lot more expensive than Model S. There’s no incentives (but in fact, penalty) for the S class, whereas incentives for the Model S. And when the article says “Europe,” it’s actually covering the entire continent, rather than say, a specific region, e.g. northern part, southern part, etc. – and that can cause confusion since I would say, S class sales is spread more around the entire continent, whereas Model S is for maybe, 2 to 3 countries with those incentives.

In short – Apple to Orange comparison.

Pretty sure you are missing the point, Londo. There are plenty of factors that make a Mercedes or a Tesla have an advantage over the other, whether they be regional or social or historical. But to dismiss this sales data, which is a very important data point, because you don’t think one factor or another is fair is to be arrogantly blind. And if Mercedes is taking that approach, and dismisses this data as well, you can bet they will lose more market share. Those Tesla owners are not going to come back easily.

You want apples to apples lets remove the 5 trillion a year in fossil fuel industry tax breaks, then ensure that all external costs are included for both vehicles including the probably 10,000s of people dieing early due to respiratory issues just in Europe alone from fossil fuel usage and the likely 100,000s with medical issues directly or indirectly suffering as well. Throw in pollution and environment loss.

Basically you can simply keep on adding in external factors until it becomes meaningless…

How about we just go back to how many cars were sold!

Well said!

Ugh. Another “short on Tesla troll”. https://twitter.com/markbspiegel

I bet this news is very alarming to you, Mark. Lol

He’s been trolling around forever. Also goes by Logical Thought.


Wow, that twitter account paints a picture of a sad character indeed.

A spider living in a web of lies to catch some bucks…can’t be good for the soul.

Dubious Twitter dump spiel “wiseguy. I buy deep value and short bubbles, and I don’t do it quietly”.

Sounds like he is a fund manager of a $50m fund. He seems to be short on Tesla stock while tweeting to try to talk down that stock. Anyone know if that contravenes SEC rules?

Don’t let the EV fundamentalists bully you around. This is an excellent question.


Don’t let the haters fool you with their FUD!



Let me also weigh in, with my valuable opinion, like the Tesla trolls above:
-3! DON’T LET THE SUCKERS who are long TSLA fool you in believing whatever dreams they cook up in their minds.

Only the D-Bags want Tesla to fail.

They don’t support American industry and in the case of Spiegel and Slime they are even willing to sell-out everyone on the planet by supporting polluting companies over clean companies so they can make more money.

Completely disgusting.

Fortunately truth will prevail over their FUD and as global warming becomes more and more evident, they and their ilk will be exposed and shunned for who they are.

personally, i agree with the policy of giving incentives to purchase low and emission free automobiles. europe has an objective to significantly cut co2 production for automobiles so i think that cars sold anywhere in europe are subject to co2 taxes (there is a threshold such that low co2 producing cars are not taxed). in addition, in london, you pay a daily congestion charge to operate non-exempt cars in central london. at the risk of sounding like a bernie sanders “socialist” (who i support, btw) i think that the u.s. should adopt some of the policies of europe as applied to automobiles.

Yes, Mark Speigel and his fellow Tesla-shorter are professional stock manipulators. IMHO, they are even lower then the serial Tesla/Musk haters like Slime Through.

In any case, facts are facts and the fact that Tesla as a new company making a new technology car. Tesla is on the threshold of taking the lead over the most established luxury plan on the planet on its home turf is an amazing example of success no matter how the manipulators/haters try to spin it.


I hate people who hate success.

The success of Mercedes, which is a highly profitable company.

When companies don’t take advantage of better technologies, people know exist, they may not change but the image others have of their customers will.


“Pump-and-dump schemes often occur on the Internet where it is common to see messages posted that urge readers to buy a stock quickly or to sell before the price goes down”.
“Claims could be made on social media such as Facebook and Twitter”.

Sure if you want a fair price competition, you would eliminate Norway sales. But incentives in other states are little (UK) to none (Germany). Denmark too has high incentives, but only so little market. And in France you get also Incentives for going EV. But they are not as high as in norway. 10k€ of a 100k€ car (France, best case) is only 10%. You can get the same of a S-Class if you know how to handle the dealer.

Excluding Denmark & Norway the market is like:
S-Class 11k
Model S 7k
Audi A8 4k
BMW 7 2k

That is still a briliant position for a newcomer.

Eliminate Norway because it cheats? How about Norway is leading Europe to a future of non-fossil fuel electricity? As one country after another follows that route, they will impose the same incentives for EVs and penalties for gas and diesel. Germany would do the same if it didn’t have the carmakers it has.

It’s an impressive feat no matter how you look at it. Part of the success I think is that the big sedans from MB, BMW, and Audi — and don’t forget Lexus — are just boring beyond belief.That said you have a complete newcomer eating their lunch and taking huge market share.

I just wish Tesla could up the build quality.

yesterday evening I saw one pearl white Tesla Model S on boulevard st.Michel ,Paris,France….facing Notre-Dame church…..it was amazing,stunning and turned many heads!!!!!


You also have to remember that it is not necessarily in governments favour to encourage EV too much, here in the UK the amount of tax on petrol or diesel is around 75%.

Where else are they going to get this revenue from if we are all driving around in EV’s ?

Personally, I can’t wait for a 200 mile range EV which is covered by the 8kw solar panel system with energy storage I am planning.

Hat tip to Tesla I say.

*affordable 200 mile range EV !

You might want to get going on that solar PV system since the tax-credit is expiring next year.

I think the USA really needs to raise gas taxes. It is ridiculously low, it is not funding roads enough, it hasn’t been raised in OVER TWENTY YEARS, it would discourage waste, it would reduce pollution.

They will start charging EVs a road use fee at time of registration. Perhaps by miles driven.

One thing that countries really need to appreciate with EVs is the reduced trade deficit. Much of our trade deficit is buying oil. If we all switch to EVs, that part of the trade deficit disappears. And Europe is far more dependent on oil than we are since the produce almost none.

Revenue for health care increase from fossil fuel huge mess?

I wonder how much it costs those governments as NATO members to obey America’s crusades in the Middle East and Central Asia? On the other hand, how much will it cost them to become dependent on Russia for oil? The solution is to blow off the superpowers and their energy-supply dependency scams.

this article is highly misleading on many levels. in the first instance, what has actually happened is that sales of the benzo s-class have taken off in europe since last year. in fact, benzo s-class sales in europe more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. this development corresponds to the introduction of the new w222 benzo s-class (which was introduced in the 2014 model year). so there is absolutely no evidence that the model s has cut into sales of the benzo although it may be the case that benzo sales would have been even greater were it not for model s sales. as pointed out by another poster, the benzo s-class is subject to significant co2 taxes, but it may also be the case that people are buying the benzo phev s-class, which is not subject to such taxes. what this article also doesn’t tell you is whether buyers of the model s have other cars. for example, in the u.s., i suspect that many model s buyers also own benzo’s, b-mer’s and bentley’s. unfortunately, i didn’t hit the numbers in the lottery last week, but soon as i do, i’m getting a benzo. i’ll also get a tesla,… Read more »

no comment said: “…unfortunately, i didn’t hit the numbers in the lottery last week, but soon as i do, i’m getting a benzo. i’ll also get a tesla, but i’ve got to get the benzo first…”

no comment,
Good thing you getting the “benzo” before the Tesla otherwise the benzo would not get much use. I know of two benzo owners that purchased a Tesla Model S as their 2nd car; the Tesla turned the benzos into garage orphans.

Great comment!!

Bottom-line: once they try an EV, they don’t go back.
Especially, but not only, if it’s a Tesla.

Just my guess: most of those who still buy non-electric high-end cars have never driven a Model S (or other high-end EVs).
Many don’t even know Tesla, as unlikely as it may sound to us.


Even in Italy (no subsidies, apart from a few hundred euro worth yearly tax exemption; still a very partially developed Supercharger network, though quickly growing; only one store and service center, in Milan) Model S’ sales are picking up respect to the competition.
Though the numbers are still not much relevant respect to total European Model S sales, in September Model S entered the top ten in its class, at n.5!
And it’s at n.9 in the first nine months.

Imagine when more stores (and Superchargers) are there…!!

Great EVs!!!

the fact that you’re acquaintances kept their benz-o’s (as opposed to getting rid of them) should tell you something…

I know someone who will keep their Mercedes/BMW because of the depreciation makes it not worthwhile to trade it in. “Might as well keep it around and get some use out of it.”

No puzzle here. Tesla is for commuting to work using the HOV lane. Benzo is for the real long distance trips. QED.

I read about Jag, Porsches, Aidi, Benzos owner who only use the Tesla now.

Model S owners dont buy POS bentleys

There is no car better than a Model S, everything else is a downgrade

S-Class uses gasoline, automatically no consideration

Sorry, I can’t resist whenever anyone talks about how good Model S is. Here is the list of issues with just ONE car tested by Edmunds for 30K miles. Car died roadside 3 times, had 3 motors and 1 main battery replaced. http://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-s/2013/long-term-road-test/wrap-up.html Problem Repair Cost Suspicious noise Replace first drive unit Warranty Car died roadside Replace second drive unit Warranty Suspicious noise Replace third drive unit and ride height sensor Warranty Car died roadside Replace main battery Warranty Touchscreen froze Replace main display screen Warranty Optional 21-inch rear tires worn to cords prematurely Replace rear tires and fix alignment Warranty Car died roadside Replace 12-volt battery and cables Warranty Steering wheel creak Shim and torque sub-frame bolts Warranty Odd noise from undercarriage Rerouted logic harnesses per TSB Warranty Sunroof will not work Replace broken sunroof deflector Warranty Driver door opens automatically Replace driver door handle mechanism Warranty Recall issued Battery shield kit installed Warranty TSB issued Inspect joints for all lower control arm washers Warranty TSB issued Update firmware to version 5.8.4 Warranty TSB issued Update firmware to version 5.11 Warranty TSB issued Replace front bumper carrier bolts Warranty TSB issued Install rear upper camber bolts Warranty TSB issued… Read more »
From that laundry list of “issues” in that very early production unit Model S, some of which were serious problems and many of which were not, you’d never know that Edmunds.com gives the Tesla Model S an “A” rating, or that it’s “One of Edmunds Top Rated”. Here’s the capsule review from Edmunds.com: “The 2015 Tesla Model S isn’t just one of the most desirable electric cars available today, it’s also one of the best luxury sedans, too.” http://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-s/2015/review/ That’s not to say we should ignore the reliability problems recently highlighted in a Consumer Reports article, but these should be put into context, rather than considered in isolation. If other auto makers’ service departments were as proactive in looking for not only problems, but “issues” which the owner or driver has not even noticed, and fixing them to make sure they never become actual problems, then other cars would tend to have a long laundry list of “issues”, too. As it is, it seems Tesla is getting “dinged” for providing superior service to their customers. No doubt the Tesla haters love that, but the rest of us should take that into consideration. If and when other auto makers start offering… Read more »

It’s a new company. The can have a higher than average number of issues. If you want an issue free car in modern times, good luck.

97% of owners polled said that they would buy another Tesla. So even with the extra issues owners still love the car and consider it better than other cars they have owned.


So then what you’re saying is, even though the Benz is all-new, and even though it just had a huge jump in sales that it is presumably maintaining, Tesla managed to nearly catch it this year. That’s impressive.

“i suspect that many model s buyers have other cars. for example, in the u.s., i suspect that many model s buyers also own benzo’s, b-mer’s and bentley’s.”

I’ll see your “I suspect” and raise you an “I know”. I know five Model S owners personally, including myself. Not one of us has some other luxury car in our back pocket, with or without ridiculous misspelling. Many of us were glad to dispose of such cars when we got the Model S, though.

you state that you were “glad to dispose of such cars…” when you bought you model s. ok, let’s cut through the crap here, before we both need to get a tetanus shot: did you, or did you not own a benzo s-class that you traded in to get a model s? if so, what did you have? a w220 s-class? in other words, assuming that you did trade in a benzo for a model s, how old was it? did you, or any of your acquaintances say: “i’m tired of driving this bentley continental gt, i think i’ll trade it in for a tesla model s?”

And THAT is why the Germans have made a big move towards plug-ins in the recent couple years.

And dieselgate will just accelerate the transition.

Why is the comparison between model S and Benz S class? (which is more than one car right?)

Funny how quickly the haters went from Tesla being doomed before they even started, to not the top ca so must be going to fail? Virtually every car maker was so convinced that EV’s as envisioned by Tesla would fail that they did not produce a single head on competitor! At least Nissan tried a different model.

Only after Tesla and Nissan found a market (all be it small at first) did others move in willingly to complete with Nissan, and after more than 5 years consider competing against Tesla

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they lose.

Plus 100 to that!

I am pro-positive change and therefore along pro-EV and RE.

I am thankful that Musk and Tesla and others are compelling this change on what was very much a static industry and mindset more concerned with the status quo then a better future.

Wasn’t it just a couple of months ago that some were saying Tesla was showing it couldn’t really compete with German auto makers in Europe?


* * * * *

BTW — It’s pretty amusing to see the Tesla bashers in this thread try to cherry-pick their way to pretending the overall trend of Tesla sales being up in Europe, somehow “doesn’t count”.

You Tesla bashers and/or TSLA short-sellers want to discount Tesla’s sales in two or three countries from the total, and pretend that somehow they don’t matter? Okay, let’s discount VW’s and Mercedes-Benz’s sales in Germany and France, pretend they also don’t matter, and then see what the sales numbers look like then! 😀

I love Tesla and everything… but comparing a Model S to a Mercedes S-Class is a shame… The Merc is just waaaaaaaay better (just a shame it’s not electric).

There is a plug-in Merc S500e now.

Plug in Mercedes 550 is almost as big a joke as the plug in prius. Its AER is insufficient and means it is basically a minimal effort compliance car, albeit better then the all gas versions.

My God, if an American luxury car company had managed sales like this in Europe 10, 20, or 30 years ago, Congress would be giving it a medal. Unless you’re old enough to remember the humiliation of the American luxury car by Mercedes in the ’70s & ’80s you don’t know how emotional American car nuts were about any sign of a turnaround; false starts where Cadillac promised to take the fight into Europe, endless waves of car reviews telling us the new Cadillac & Lincoln models were finally comparable to the German cars, and most laughably, the Cadillac Seville and Ford Granada being marketed specifically as being Mercedes-beaters, except with vinyl roofs. In fact, this news is the single greatest success that any American automaker has ever had in Europe, because Ford spent many years developing products for its markets before gaining traction and GM bought Vauxhall & Opel. No US luxury car has ever had significant sales in Western Europe, although the Czars and the Soviets had a strange love of Packards. If the Tesla weren’t an electric car, this success would be viewed entirely in patriotic bombast. Apparently there can be good news for “patriots” and there… Read more »

well said, US cars are laughing-stock in EU.

aka, the Ampera woulda’ sold like chips in a bar on game day if Only it wasn’t made by GM. Too bad so few were willing to try, but when literally EveryPerson that you knew would laugh at you for ‘paying SO much’ for a US car, there was no hope.

And in USA, Tesla Model-S is #1 in YTD-2015 with 17,700 units sold.

Benz S Series – 15,994
BMW 7 Series – 6,363
Audi A8 – 3,817
Lexus LS – 5,270

Actually Model-S is 7 seater and if you include the FRUNK space, its bigger than any other sedan in the market.

Here are the links.





If more superchargers and regular chargers are installed, Model-S will soon overtake Benz.

Wow I hope the heaters aren’t living in USA, they hate American success.

Why would anybody that can afford a Tesla buy anything else?

Why? Perhaps because they have to drive long distances on a regular / daily basis, like travelling salespeople (of which there are lots here in Europe, esp. Germany), and don’t have the time to charge their car several times a day.

I think that is the main hindrance for Model S (and EVs in general) at the moment. As great as the car is, having the disadvantages associated with charging (even at SCs) vs. filling up at a gas station is just too much for quite a lot of potential buyers still. Battery swap looks like a potential remedy, but as yet is not in sight.