While Tesla has been increasingly focusing on other markets, like China, where it had some significant success lately, the US remains Tesla’s most important market and where it dominates its segments.
Tesla shocked the industry last year when it confirmed having delivered 25,202 Model S sedans in the U.S. in 2015, which gave the company a 25% market share in the premium sedan market.
Some industry watchers thought that it might be a fluke, but the latest registration data suggests that Tesla is still maintaining its lead in the large luxury sedan segment in 2017.
The company’s goal has always been to make the best vehicle possible that just happens to be electric.
This way, they can focus on stealing market shares from gas-powered cars, which is ultimately the goal of the electric vehicle revolution.
It’s not really a problem in the large luxury sedan in which the Model S competes since it’s the only all-electric vehicle in said segment. It should get a little busier by the end of the decade when Porsche, Audi and Mercedes are all supposed to be launching all-electric competitors.
Of course, they will be going after Tesla’s market share in an attempt not to cannibalize their own sales in the same segment and since the company has now the biggest piece of the pie.
We used car sales data from Good Car Bad Car and new car registration data from IHS Markit (via Bloomberg) to visualize the current segment for the first quarter 2017:
It means that Tesla’s Model S so far outsells Mercedes S-Class, Porsche Panamera, and BMW 6/7 Series combined in the US in 2017.
There has been some controversy over whether or not the Model S should be considered a ‘large sedan’, but the EPA defines the segment as vehicles with 120 ft³ or more of combined passenger and cargo interior volume, which is exactly Tesla’s interior volume.
Therefore, it should technically fit the description – though barely admittedly. Some other vehicles in the segment, like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Porsche Panamera, only have 4 more ft³.
Based on the same IHS Markit, Tesla’s Model S sales in the US has been stabilizing at just over 7,000 units per quarter over the past few quarters:
It will be interesting to see if Tesla will be able to maintain that with the upcoming Model 3, which is aimed at the midsize sedan market, but it could still steal sales from the Model S.
Some people are only looking for a long-range electric car or simply wanting a Tesla, and while they would have normally bought the Model S because it was the only option, now they could decide to go for the Model 3 despite being a smaller vehicle with fewer features.
As for the Model X, Tesla was still ramping up production as of last quarter and therefore, it’s not really useful to look at a single market since some production is allocated to specific markets. Global deliveries were up last quarter:
The next few quarters should give us a very good idea of Tesla’s overall demand for the Model S and Model X, but it could more difficult to identify with the Model 3 in the mix.
Nonetheless, it should be an interesting few months to follow Tesla’s sales – both in the US and in other markets.
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