This is a point that I already highlighted in an article approximately a month ago, “#1 Large Luxury Car In US = Tesla Model S (2015 Sales Comparison).” Now, however, Tesla* has provided us with its official numbers! Our estimates for US Tesla Model S sales were a tad high for both 2014 and 2015, and the result is that Tesla’s year-over-year growth was even higher than projected. Either way, though, the story is the same: Tesla crushed the competition in the large luxury car market in 2015. Here’s Tesla’s table and own words on the triumph:
In Q4, we increased global deliveries over 76% year on year as Model S market share gains continued in every geographic region. In the U.S., just over three years after entering the market, Model S took share from all incumbent manufacturers to become the number one selling comparably priced four-door sedan. In fact, Model S was the only vehicle in its class with growing sales last year. Even on our competitors’ home turf and in countries without government incentives to purchase electric vehicles, Model S is winning. For example, in Switzerland, Model S outsold the Mercedes Benz S-Class, the BMW 7- Series, the Porsche Panamera and the Audi A-8 combined for the full year, and also outsold the Mercedes Benz E-Class. In Germany in Q4, Model S outsold the Porsche Panamera. Finally, across all of Europe last year Model S outsold the Audi A8 and A7 combined and the BMW 7-Series and 6-Series combined.
Here’s the 2015 data put into chart format (since I love charts so much, and know others do too):
Since I’ve already covered this general story, I’ll just repost what I wrote last month (for anyone who missed it or wants a refresher). And, by the way, Elon made the same point regarding the Model 3 vs similarly priced competition in the gasmobile segment on the quarterly conference call that just concluded. Anyhow, here are my brief words from last month aiming to add more context:
Giving the conventional automakers a little bit of slack, you could note that if you combined their various models on this class, Mercedes would be a little bit above Tesla, and BMW and Audi would be… well, still quite far behind.
Of course, Tesla doesn’t have the extensive dealer network Mercedes, BMW, and Audi have. Tesla doesn’t have the decades of brand building and advertising. And Tesla doesn’t have the production capacity of these giant automakers.
Think Mercedes, BMW, and Audi (Volkswagen) are getting a little bit concerned about Tesla at this point?
And what about when the Tesla Model 3 comes to market, challenging the BMW 3-series/5-series, the Audi A3/A4/A6, and the Mercedes A-Class/B-Class/C-Class?
I have an idea.
And since I didn’t mention it last month, I fully expect the Model X to take over the luxury SUV market at least as much as the Model S has taken over the large luxury car market. As Elon noted today on the conference call, he thinks the Model X is the best car in the world. I agree. Tesla execs may have ordered many headaches and sleepless nights for themselves due to the complexity of the X, but they also put together the most amazing car on the planet, imho.
Tesla has been purposefully suppressing demand for the X since it is so production constrained right now, but once word starts to get out there, reviews start to get published in the mass media, and more and more people see and experience the vehicle, X demand will increase in tremendous fashion.
Stay tuned for an update in a year or so. 😀
And if you need an intro or refresher on why the Tesla Model S & Model X kick the competition in the rear end so hard, check out:
*Full Disclosure: I’m an investor in Tesla (TSLA). That is, I own stock in the company and don’t intend to sell it for at least 10 years. As such, I may be biased, but I have enthusiastically covered Tesla for much longer than I’ve been a shareholder and I don’t aim to move the stock price with my words. Frankly, I just write about what I find interesting and important. I think Tesla will be a long-term success for a handful of obvious reasons. I also fully support its mission. These are the reasons I’m long TSLA.