Tesla Model S Sales Surpass 100,000 in U.S.

5 months ago by Eric Loveday 34

Tesla Model S refresh

Tesla Model S

It’s hard to believe that more than 100,000 Model S electric sedans have been sold in the U.S. thus far.

It’s even more remarkable an achievement when you consider how costly the plug-in Tesla is to buy.

According to our figures, which include some estimates, Tesla Model S sales have now unofficially surpassed 100,000 units in the U.S. alone.

According to our scorecard, Tesla sold 99,932 Model S EVs through the end of May 2017. That means Tesla had to move just 68 more units in the first half of June to reach the 100,000-unit milestone.

It’s safe to assume Tesla sold far more than 68 units in the past 18 days, so we can now state that Model S sales have surpassed 100,000 in the U.S.

For a ballpark $100,000 vehicle, that’s quite an achievement in its 65 months on the market.

Model S sales were approaching 9,000 units YTD 2017 through the end of May. Last year, Model S sales totaled some ~28,896 in the U.S.

It remains to be seen how the upcoming Model 3 will impact S sales, but we’ll find out soon enough with the 3 set to launch in just a few weeks’ time.

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34 responses to "Tesla Model S Sales Surpass 100,000 in U.S."

  1. ffbj says:

    Well they have a virtual monopoly in the high end ev market. Now with the Model 3 coming out they will invade the mid-priced space.

    1. Lawrence says:

      Thanks Captain Obvious

  2. Gazz says:

    Only when the middle space starts to lose a quantifiable amount to EVs. Will a tipping point be passed.

    1. When All the Hybrid Owners are no longer buying Hybrids, but EV’s, and all the ones who have a thought about buying EV’s, have, then we will have started to cascade the ranks of the ICE over to BEV’s (& I suppose some Good PHEV’s)!

  3. Seems Like a Typo: “According to our scorecard, Tesla sold 99,932 Model S EVs through the end of May 2016.”, Since – “It’s safe to assume Tesla sold far more than 68 units in the past 18 days” if the above line is not corrected (through the end of May 2017.), Then it seems this article is about a year old!

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Fixed. Thanks for catching that.

  4. Pinewold says:

    Tesla will sell more Model S/X once Model 3 comes out. The Model 3 will be a great advertisement for Tesla and rich folks who do not want to wait a year or two will just buy the S.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Bingo!

      As I said, we should call it “The BMW Effect”. BMW putting the Series 3 into production three years after the series 5 didn’t kill Series 5 sales! Probably just the opposite.

  5. ClarksonCote says:

    “For a ballpark $100,000 vehicle, that’s quite an achievement in its 65 months on the market.”

    Remember when Model S was touted as being the $50,000 vehicle to compete with BMW 5-series?

    It’s interesting that it is now the price of the original Tesla Roadster. In a lot of ways that’s going in the wrong direction.

    Does that mean the “affordable Model 3” will be $80k within the next 5 years?

    1. Taylor S Marks says:

      The $50K price tag that they touted was for a 40 kWh model after tax incentives.

      It turns out that nobody wanted a car with so little range.

      With the Model 3, they’re saying it’ll be over 215 miles EPA range, and the price they’re advertising it without tax incentives. Based on how well the Model S 60 sold, it seems 215 miles of range in the base Model 3 should be fine.

      1. Josh Bryant says:

        I think low initial demand was a perfect excuse to kill a Model S version that would have near zero margins. The original Model S packed a ton of expensive equipment standard that no other automaker would do (the two infotainment screens, Cell radio, powered door handles, etc.).

        They also only killed it after they paid off the DOE loan, and a $50k version was listed in their agreement with DOE.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Goodness, such a rush to make revisionist history here.

          The Model S40 was cancelled even before production actually started. It was cancelled when Tesla saw that only about 2% of the initial reservations for the 40 kWh version, so it didn’t make sense to actually put that version into production.

          And for the record, initial sales were about 7-to-1 in favor of the S85 vs the S60. So if the average selling price of the Model S wound up being considerably more than the original touted base price… That is because Tesla customers chose the higher trim level versions!

          The attempts here to insinuate that Tesla did a bait-and-switch on the price… well, I don’t know what the motives are for such insinuations, but they simply are not true.

          1. Four Electrics says:

            I think it’s pretty clear the 40 kWh version was only offered to satisfy the conditions of the DOE loan. The motive here is probably… truth.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              “The motive here is probably… truth.”

              The motive of a serial Tesla basher like you posting anti-Tesla FUD is anything but Truth.

              You’ve gone to a great deal of time and effort to make your bed; now lie in it.

          2. ClarksonCote says:

            I don’t think it’s fair to equate statistics from people who made reservations to what the general break-out would be if the car was available.

            Many people that would buy a $50k car may not want to put down a deposit on something sight-unseen, whereas, with an $80k car, they may be much more willing to do that.

          3. Josh Bryant says:

            My motive was to explain why the Model S price range didn’t end up starting at $50k.

            Which part of my comment weren’t true?
            – $50k vehicle was part of the DOE requirements
            – It would have been very low margin

            Tesla had no idea they would have so much demand for high end models, or so much demand in general. Their first factory request was in New Mexico, looking for a facility capable of producing 10k vehicles per year.

            I think you are misunderstanding me. It was a very smart move for Tesla to go after high margin since the demand was there, but they may have needed to pay off the DOE loan to do it.

            Model 3 is a different type of product for Tesla as they grow their range/appeal. I expect some very high end expensive versions of 3 eventually, but it has to sell in volume, so there will always be a ~$35k model. Tesla is playing their cards very well on this rollout.

      2. Devin Serpa says:

        There’s some used S40 out there for sale still.

    2. Josh Bryant says:

      There will definitely be an $80k version of the Model 3 to compete with a BMW M3. But we won’t see that until next Summer. My gut says, Tesla is expecting some of the early reservation holders jump at the first version (RWD + Big battery), then trade up to the M3 competitor in a year or two.

      RE: Model S prices, Tesla ended up with more demand for high end / high performance models than they expected. It was probably essential to their existence to keep up the high gross margin.

    3. Tech01x says:

      Ah, the starting price for a Model S is $69,500 + $1,200 destination fee. After incentives, that’s $60-63k. The original $50k price quote is now $53k, so the difference isn’t all that much. And for the price, the buyer gets active safety features like AEB thrown in, as well as a much larger battery (75 kWh instead of 40 kWh).

    4. Steve says:

      The car starts at $69K and there are inventory models on sale for $67K. Look on http://www.ev-cpo.com if you want to see the price of the car.

      The price is what the market will stand, and if people are happy paying a loaded-up price of $150K, they will do that. If they aren’t happy doing that, they won’t.

    5. Steve says:

      Inflation…. $50,000 in 2011 is $55,000 today.

      Today’s $100,000 car was $90,000 in 2011.

  6. Josh Bryant says:

    Great achievement for Model S, but I think most of us are more closely following total US sales of Model S + X + Roadster ( + 3).

    Roadster = 1900
    S = 2650+17650+16689+25202+28896+8845 = 99932
    X = 214+18223+6745 = 25182

    North America Total = 127,014

    Need to subtract a little bit for Canada sales (15k?).

    I would guess that Tesla is going to end the year around 160k sales if they push 15-20k 3s out the door this year.

  7. Tom says:

    How about an updated timeline on the march to 200,000 by automaker?

    1. WadeTyhon says:

      Approximate numbers as of mid-June 2017:

      Nissan ~ 112,000

      Tesla ~ 128,000

      GM ~ 140,000

      My guess: Tesla will probably hit 200k around spring of 2018. GM in late summer 2018. Nissan in late 2019 or 2020… depending on how well the new leaf does next year.

      The other automakers are still quite a ways off… So I would only worry if you want a GM or Tesla Plug-In.

  8. bro1999 says:

    Isn’t it about time for the S 2.0?

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      I am guessing that will be after Model 3/Gigafactory ramp once they can supply enough new cells for S, X and 3.

      Maybe they can do a Model X 1.0 also (seems like they started with X 2.0).

    2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      I know right?

      Maybe something with some edges.

  9. Bonaire says:

    Buyers who are into their 3rd or 4th car since 2012/2013 are not making the point of being sustainable, especially if they have crashed some out of service while launching, driving too fast or having mishaps with unattentive driver while auto-piloting. I’d like to know how many sales were made after an insurance claim of a totaled vehicle after a moderate accident or too-expensive fender-bender.

    1. mx says:

      That’s a corner case, a statistical outlier, essentially an invalid argument in the general case.

      And of course those leaser’s are putting cheaper Model S’s into the used car market. That’s Greatly Appreciated.

  10. Peter says:

    100.000 times $ 100.000.00 wow that is impressive.

  11. Four Electrics says:

    The LEAF was the first EV to 100,000 US sales. That’s to be expected, as it launched before the S and is cheaper.

    1. mx says:

      More interesting is when the Leaf made it’s statistical Square.
      $40,000 * 40,000 sold.

      Or, $32,000 average selling price * 32,000 sold.

  12. Eddie says:

    The cars it is competing against are in the $100,000 range also but with Tesla it is all new tech at that price. The Model S outsold the luxury sedans from Porsche, BMW, and MB combined first quarter of 2017. Musk had to compete with the best out of Germany or you would just have another skinny wheeled, tiny car like the Leaf. A new car company makes the safest cars in the world vs the best of the world making cars for a 100 years. I bought a Model X for the safest car for my family. I looked at a $104,000 Lincoln Navigator and there is no comparison. Tesla makes the safest and fastest vehicles in the world and it is an EV. I have a full tank of electrons everyday charged by my solar panels. No more dirty gas stations or oil changes. Wifi updates/new features, Supercharging if needed. The best vehicle I have every owned and this is from a car guy that had owned my expensive exotics, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati, BMW, and Porsche!!!!

  13. Don Zenga says:

    Congratulations Tesla. Great achievement.
    Even Model-X has probably crossed 25,000 in sales.

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