Toyota recently admitted that the Tesla Model 3 is affecting Prius sales, but we are now learning by just how much: Toyota says that it has a 9% owner defection rate in North America and it attributes about half of it to Tesla.

Last year, Tesla revealed the top 5 cars Tesla Model 3 buyers are trading in and the Prius topped the list:

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

Earlier this month, Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz said that they are seeing the impact of Tesla Model 3 on Prius sales.

Now, Automotive News reports further comments from Lentz saying that they are seeing a 9% overall defection rate and half of it is attributable to Tesla:

“Meanwhile, Toyota dealers are facing uncharacteristic defections from one of the brand’s most recognizable products, the Prius, to one of the industry’s upstarts, Tesla. Toyota has an overall defection rate to other brands of about 9 percent, and about half of that is made up of Prius owners going to Tesla, according to Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America.”

Last year, Tesla Model 3 officially became the best-selling premium vehicle in the US, but it is also having an impact on other segments, including mid-size sedans, despite its higher price.

Electrek’s Take

I knew that the Model 3 was impactful, but I’m still surprised by this.

Honestly, that’s insane. Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers in the world, is attributing half of its defection rate to Tesla, a relatively small electric vehicle automaker.

It’s also interesting that they are openly acknowledging that, which is rare for automakers. They often don’t even acknowledge the existence of competition.

Hopefully, it leads to them accelerating their electrification efforts, which has been lacking in my opinion.

They are supposed to launch their first all-electric vehicle in 2020, but they are still mostly invested in hybrids.

Their recent battery deal with Panasonic is encouraging, but I’d like to start seeing mass-market all-electric vehicle programs being announced from them soon.

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