It looks like Tesla Model 3 might be seriously disrupting the luxury sedan market in the US, based on the sales data in the segment, and Model Y could do the same to the even bigger compact SUV segment.

The Tesla Model 3 has long been positioned as a potential great competitor and electric alternative to the BMW 3 Series, which has been a popular premium sedan for a long time.

In 2018, Tesla reported that BMW’s popular sedan was listed in the top 5 cars Model 3 buyers are trading in.

Bernhard Kuhnt, chief executive officer of BMW North America, admitted that the ‘Tesla Model 3 is putting pressure on the market’.

And it’s not only BMW that is feeling the pain.

A new report from Wheels Joint correlates the decline of virtually all cars in the premium sedan segment to the ramp-up of Model 3 deliveries in the US:

“Tesla Model 3 is disrupting the luxury sedan market at an unprecedented rate. A compilation of historical sales data for top ten best selling luxury sedans in the US has revealed the extent of disruption in this segment.”

They released this chart:

The publication added to the finding:

“A sudden downward shift in all the vehicles can be clearly seen in the chart after mass production of Tesla Model 3 kicked off in 2018. The downtrend is further extended in 2019.”

They listed the sales growth for 2017-2019 of the top vehicles in the segment:

  • BMW 4-Series: -53%
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class: -37%
  • Infiniti Q50: -36%
  • Acura TLX -24%
  • Audi A4/S4: -23%
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class: -21%
  • BMW 3 Series: -20%
  • BMW 5-Series: -5%
  • Lexus ES: -0.12%

Electrek’s Take

Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation and there could be other factors involved.

However, no one can deny that while Tesla has been doing great in the segment and outselling the next 3 closest competitors combined, everyone else has seen a decline in sales.

I think the Model 3 certainly has something to do with and apparently I’m not alone since BMW also admitted it.

Now the crazy thing is that I think the Model Y is going to have a similar impact on the compact SUV/crossover segment, which is even bigger worldwide.

If some people didn’t know that you need to go electric to compete, now they will.

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