I was sucked into a corner of the internet perusing a thread (okay, several threads) on the Tesla Motors Club forum yesterday. Two clever historians (of sorts) posted some things I founded quite fascinating, so I’m sharing them here as well.
Interestingly, going back in time to 1995/1996, you can see that highly regarded performance car company Porsche sold just 19,262 cars — approximately what Tesla sold in 2013 (22,450). A year later (1996/1997), Porsche sold 32,383 cars — approximately what Tesla sold in 2014 (31,655). But it wasn’t until 2000/2001 (4 years later) that Porsche sold 54,586 cars — just a bit more than what Tesla sold in 2015 (50,580), and a number Tesla will easily surpass in 2016.
Porsche ended up hitting 96,794 sales in 2005/2006, which is the high end of Tesla’s potential 2016 sales, or at least a strong possibility for 2017. Put in other words, as SebastionR wrote, “So, if you want, Tesla is trying to do in about 4 years what Porsche did in 10 years.”
If you add on the fact that Tesla is competing in a unique, new segment of the market and has to build out Superchargers, service centers, stores, and demand for this new segment, that’s a pretty fascinating look at how Tesla compares with incumbent automakers.
Porsche got up to 127,000 sales in 2011, 151,000 in 2012, 165,ooo in 2013, and 190,000 in 2014. How conceivable is it that Tesla could get to 190,000 in a few more years? And eat into a lot of Porsche’s sales in the process…
And, remember, Tesla’s 2020 goal is 500,000 sales. Extrapolate out to hit that target, and this is what I get for the 9-year period of 2012 through 2020 vs the 9-year period of 1994–1995 through 2002–2003:
Of course, there are a lot of hypotheticals in that chart, but still quite interesting to look at and think about. We’ll see how things turn out.