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Model S Decimates Large Premium/Luxury Car Market

but to us the driving experience and EV performance of the Model S along with all the technology that Tesla has developed is more important than an S Class blowing scented air up our derriere :)

LOL! :) Two points for you.

That said.... some people like the scented air. Don't judge!

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Well, and that IS the point - in 2015 manufacturers of the Oberklasse vehicles failed to attract 25% of US buyers that are willing to spend $100K on a car, while suffering DECLINING YoY sales...

Interestingly the total number of cars sold in that grouping stayed almost exactly the same. And I suppose that's the point that the author is making. That alone is an indicator that Tesla has been pulling some sales from the other cars listed. Unless there are some other strong factors pushing down sales for larger luxo-sedans?
 
The Model S and S-Class both have an Average Selling Price of $106k.

Where did you get $106k ASP for Model S?

In 2015 Q4, Tesla's global ASP was $94,400. They had non-GAAP revenues of $1.65B and delivered (sold) 17,478 cars - including 206 highly optioned Model X's. I find it hard to believe that US ASP for the Model S was $106k.

Supposing US ASP was $94.4k, federal and state tax incentives bring the effective ASP down closer to $84k. This represents a ~20% discount to the S Class ASP.

Anecdotally, I know 5 Model S owners (including myself) and only one considered any of the cars in this list of "large luxury vehicles". But perhaps that says more about who I roll with!!!
 

vgrinshpun

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No, that is not the point.


The point is the title of this thread and the marketing spin is completely wrong.

Tesla did not decimate that segment.
They created a product that people were willing to buy at a substantial premium to their previous purchase.
If Tesla did not exist, the overwhelming majority of those buyers would have purchased a $30k car, not a $130k S Class and the decline in this segment would have continued.


BTW, not sure where you got $100k from - are you claiming that that is the average price a Tesla buyer pays after incentives? But it is true that if a person wants to pay $58k for a 70, that Mercedes did fail to sell them a $120k S Class.... so??? Apples != Oranges.

There is no spin by Tesla. Their marketing is right on point. Tesla Model S does belong to Oberklasse and did take 25% of the Oberklasse market segment in US in 2015. It sold 25,202 cars out of total of 99,198. These are independent data which you seem to be attempting to spin.

As far as your comparison, you are obviously cherry picking the data (while chastising others for doing the same - in your opinion) to indeed compare apples to oranges. The lowest price one can have S550 for is $86,904 (Edmunds.com True Market Value Pricing), not $120,000 you claimed. It seems that if one had a strong argument, there would be no need to misrepresent data.

In order to compare apples to apples, both cars need to have comparable equipment, and I did this exercise in post up thread. Comparing similarly equipped S-Class and Model S shows that MB S-550 4Matic costs about $2K LESS than Model S 90D (after Federal Tax Rebate): $89,228 vs. $91,200 for 90D.
 
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vgrinshpun

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For those interested to see independent classification of Tesla Model S, here is the link to German's KBA statistical data for 2015. Complete list of cars included in Oberklasse (Superclass) is on page 3. Tesla Model S is classified as part of Oberklasse, while MB E-Class, BMW 5-Series are not - they belong to a lower Obere Mittelklasse (Upper Middle Class).
 
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Autonomy features are definitely a luxury feature. Autopilot results in significantly less stress and greater comfort. My model S is a lot more comfortable than any Lexus, Mercedes of BMW car I have driven. It is quicker, safer, more comfortable, and more feature packed with options that actually matter.

The S class cannot hold its own against the Model S and the numbers show. Ultra posh features are unimportant- that's why the Executive Seats were dropped. When the S gets X treatment with self opening and closing doors, improved seating and extended trim it will be even better. Between the X, S, 3 and expanding global market the luxury automakers will be smoked bovine.

A Porsche head stated that profits will fall with their pursuit of electric cars. This transition is going to be very hard for the automakers. They do not have the foundation of factors to keep up with Tesla in this market. Musk is predicting profitability much sooner than expected. Given climate change pressures, regulations, outdated technology, oil prices that will rebound sooner or later, inferior performance and luxury features, the up market automakers need to be anxious. This is why GM announced plans with uber- it has to be able to stay relevant.

Sit back and enjoy the spectacle as Tesla grows and automakers struggle.
 
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I find it very incomprehensible that lots of people claim E or 5 or A6/7 has more luxurious interior or better finish than MS. Have these people even sat in the latest fully optioned MS? I have a P85D with premium interior package, next-gen front seats and executive back seats. And yes, I drove all the German trios I mentioned, no, I find the German mid-range cars not having better interior or finish, quite the opposite. Take E for instance, large swathes of cheap plastics, horrendous small or low res screen, leather no better than that in MS, finish no better either, squeaky panels here and there when pressed on, certainly a lot more switches and knobs, if this is considered luxury. S-class and the likes do have more a luxurious feel, with more opulent leather, chrome, wood trims and seats adjusted in many more ways. However as someone pointed out earlier, luxury has more dimensions to it than just the look and touch. A plastic Dyson vacuum cleaner costs over 1k USD, a handmade broomstick with some gold ornament may cost the same, well, I will take the Dyson every time.

E/5 is not in the same class as MS simply because they are much cheaper. Price point is the determining factor. If I want to blow 100k-150k on a car, I will not look at a E or 5 (except for their AMG or M variants), I may look at Mercedes G55 or Maserati, but not a 50k usd car. Think about it, if you wanna buy a 3000 USD suit, you are not going to look at CK. I'm not saying people will never cross shop a MS with a E, but it doesn't mean they are in the same class.
 
Based on that, the right comparison is the Model E to Tesla's with the Next Gen seats. Why compare it to the S whose seats are a lot better than the E?
A 70D with taxpayer gifts and gas savings is far closer in price to an E than an S.

Maybe Europeans were complaining about the non-Next Gen seats - oh, and just because you didn't hear it, doesn't mean it isn't true.

There is the rest of the world outside the US. S makes and sells S280 and S300 (4 cylinders) in many countries in the "rest of the world". These "faint heart" S are cheaper than 70D, but still S Class. A "class" always comprises a wide range of variants, so I find nothing wrong to put MS and S in the same class even though their respective lowest spec models are not more expensive than the highest spec models from one class below.
 
I find it very incomprehensible that lots of people claim E or 5 or A6/7 has more luxurious interior or better finish than MS. Have these people even sat in the latest fully optioned MS? I have a P85D with premium interior package, next-gen front seats and executive back seats. And yes, I drove all the German trios I mentioned, no, I find the German mid-range cars not having better interior or finish, quite the opposite. Take E for instance, large swathes of cheap plastics, horrendous small or low res screen, leather no better than that in MS, finish no better either, squeaky panels here and there when pressed on, certainly a lot more switches and knobs, if this is considered luxury. S-class and the likes do have more a luxurious feel, with more opulent leather, chrome, wood trims and seats adjusted in many more ways. However as someone pointed out earlier, luxury has more dimensions to it than just the look and touch. A plastic Dyson vacuum cleaner costs over 1k USD, a handmade broomstick with some gold ornament may cost the same, well, I will take the Dyson every time.

E/5 is not in the same class as MS simply because they are much cheaper. Price point is the determining factor. If I want to blow 100k-150k on a car, I will not look at a E or 5 (except for their AMG or M variants), I may look at Mercedes G55 or Maserati, but not a 50k usd car. Think about it, if you wanna buy a 3000 USD suit, you are not going to look at CK. I'm not saying people will never cross shop a MS with a E, but it doesn't mean they are in the same class.

I think it's because the definitions of luxury are very personal. For many some of us, less is more. For others a kind of conspicuous consumption rules -- polished wood, gold trim, etc, etc. And many are somewhere in the middle. Thus the disagreement over the "luxury" of the Model S interior. I think it's likely to remain minimalist so the debate will live on.
 

svp6

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I find it very incomprehensible that lots of people claim E or 5 or A6/7 has more luxurious interior or better finish than MS. Have these people even sat in the latest fully optioned MS? I have a P85D with premium interior package, next-gen front seats and executive back seats.

As pointed out elsewhere, E, 5 series and A6 are all at the lower end of price range for Model S. On the other hand, my P85D with same configuration as yours minus the exec seats in the back was 124k - and this is not in the price range of the E/5/A6. I love the car, but the interior feel is less than the 650 I leased before (103k), or to the S550 (110k the one I tested), A8 (93k) and Panamera 4S (113k) I compared it with. I am awaiting the X to show up - people say interior feel is a great improvement. If model S continues to improve, I will buy my next one. For now, interior is OK, but not great.
 

ggnykk

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Haha, I love the use of the statistics to mislead people.

I strongly doubt the Model S is responsible for that much of the "stolen" sales. Certainly a percentage of sales of course, but not to that degree. It's probably a combination of that and that astronomical SUV sales because of falling gas prices.
I agree that a lot of the luxury sedan sales are actually "stolen" by other SUV rather than Model S. If anything, it is a bit concerning that the target customers of Mercedes S class/ BMW 7 series have to wait until gas price goes lower in order to switch to an SUV. Typically, you wouldn't think people buying $80,000 to $120,000 cars are concerned about gas price. But the numbers here seems to suggest otherwise.
 
Typically, you wouldn't think people buying $80,000 to $120,000 cars are concerned about gas price. But the numbers here seems to suggest otherwise.
Wealthy people are often quite value conscious. Don't mind spending money so long as they're getting what they deem to be value from the outlay. As an example, we have expensive houses, expensive cars, and spend a gob of money on travel and other stuff. We'll also shop at outlets (from local in the U.S. to 'the mall' in Florence IT), ride bikes for local trips, make meals at home, etc.
 

ggnykk

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Yes, that is exactly my point. If you define luxury to include the Model S, it should ALSO include the 5-series and E-class. That list doesn't. Conveniently, when you add those other "luxury" cars in to the mix, Tesla is nowhere close to "decimating" anything. Mercedes sold over 60,000 E-class cars in 2015 just in the US. Tesla is doing very well, and certainly shaking things up. I love them for it. But they didn't gobble up 25% of the "luxury" car market unless you specifically exclude cars that are more of a direct comparison to the Model S than most of the cars on that list.
It is quite obvious that the marketing department at Tesla intentionally exclude numbers of Mercedes E-class, BMW 5 series, and Audi A6. Tesla Model S would look bad relative to those numbers. No corporations in this world would be stupid enough to say or project anything that make them look bad.

I do hope that Tesla Model S will outsell those cars in a few years because I want Tesla to do well.
 
It is quite obvious that the marketing department at Tesla intentionally exclude numbers of Mercedes E-class, BMW 5 series, and Audi A6. Tesla Model S would look bad relative to those numbers. No corporations in this world would be stupid enough to say or project anything that make them look bad.

I do hope that Tesla Model S will outsell those cars in a few years because I want Tesla to do well.
They also excluded sales of pickup tricks and motorcycles, what's your point? Why would they include cars not in their class by any definition anyone has come up with?
 

ggnykk

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They also excluded sales of pickup tricks and motorcycles, what's your point? Why would they include cars not in their class by any definition anyone has come up with?
That's an easy question. SIZE. If you look at the wheelbase length (the length between the center point of front and rear wheels, which mostly define interior space), overall length, overall footprint, headroom etc, Tesla Model S is OBVIOUSLY a direct comparison to Mercedes E class, BMW 5 series, and NOT Mercedes S class or BMW 7 series. The dimension of the car are an objective numbers in inches, your car fall into that category or you don't. By the way, if you look at key dimension like headroom for front and rear seats, Model S doesn't even beat Mercedes C class or BMW 3 series.

As far as subjective comparisons goes, people can argue what define as "luxury" and it varies depending who you talk to. I think a detail comparison between cars should be separated into more category, such as luxury, fit and finish, material, NVH (noise, vibration, harness), technology, safety features, performance etc; rather than grouping everything into just "luxury" like some people here may suggest.
 

vgrinshpun

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That's an easy question. SIZE. If you look at the wheelbase length (the length between the center point of front and rear wheels, which mostly define interior space), overall length, overall footprint, headroom etc, Tesla Model S is OBVIOUSLY a direct comparison to Mercedes E class, BMW 5 series, and NOT Mercedes S class or BMW 7 series. The dimension of the car are an objective numbers in inches, your car fall into that category or you don't. By the way, if you look at key dimension like headroom for front and rear seats, Model S doesn't even beat Mercedes C class or BMW 3 series.

As far as subjective comparisons goes, people can argue what define as "luxury" and it varies depending who you talk to. I think a detail comparison between cars should be separated into more category, such as luxury, fit and finish, material, NVH (noise, vibration, harness), technology, safety features, performance etc; rather than grouping everything into just "luxury" like some people here may suggest.

As was posted before, Tesla Model S officially classified by German Federal Motor Vehicle Authorities as part of Oberklasse - along with MB S-Class, BMW 7- Series, Audi A8, A7, etc.

BMW 5-Series, MB E-Class belong to a lower class of vehicles.

See post upthread for link.
 
That's an easy question. SIZE. If you look at the wheelbase length (the length between the center point of front and rear wheels, which mostly define interior space), overall length, overall footprint, headroom etc, Tesla Model S is OBVIOUSLY a direct comparison to Mercedes E class, BMW 5 series, and NOT Mercedes S class or BMW 7 series. The dimension of the car are an objective numbers in inches, your car fall into that category or you don't. By the way, if you look at key dimension like headroom for front and rear seats, Model S doesn't even beat Mercedes C class or BMW 3 series.

As far as subjective comparisons goes, people can argue what define as "luxury" and it varies depending who you talk to. I think a detail comparison between cars should be separated into more category, such as luxury, fit and finish, material, NVH (noise, vibration, harness), technology, safety features, performance etc; rather than grouping everything into just "luxury" like some people here may suggest.

Actually no.

The Model S is a direct comparison in size to the Mercedes S Class, standard wheelbase. What we get in the US is a slightly more extended version of the car.
 

CarlK

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It is quite obvious that the marketing department at Tesla intentionally exclude numbers of Mercedes E-class, BMW 5 series, and Audi A6. Tesla Model S would look bad relative to those numbers. No corporations in this world would be stupid enough to say or project anything that make them look bad.

I do hope that Tesla Model S will outsell those cars in a few years because I want Tesla to do well.

Model S has ASP of more than $90K. I don't think E/5/A6 are in the same catagory.
 

jerry33

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The S class cannot hold its own against the Model S and the numbers show. Ultra posh features are unimportant- that's why the Executive Seats were dropped. When the S gets X treatment with self opening and closing doors, improved seating and extended trim it will be even better. Between the X, S, 3 and expanding global market the luxury automakers will be smoked bovine.
I mostly agree with this, although I'd put forth the hypothesis that the Executive Seats were dropped because of the reduced functionality: The didn't fold to allow more cargo room and it made the car a four seater. These two fictional deficiencies made for poor sales.
 

deonb

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The Model S is MORE luxurious than the S Class because the ultimate luxury is a silent, vibration free car

I do agree that the ultimate luxury is a silent, vibration free car, but the Model S isn't that. I've never had so many squeaks, rattles and whirrs in a car since I drove my grandfathers 1970-ish model Datsun. And I've driven some crappy cars that were in the shop more than they were running... but none were ever this noisy.

I sold my 10-year old Toyota Highlander last month, and specifically looked for noise - but everything about the interior was still rock-solid. I could press with my whole body against any panel in that car and wouldn't get a squeak out of it.

The Model S however... slight weight press against the door panels and it sounds like you're diving into Styrofoam. I've had this fixed 5 times so far, and they replace some of those plastic rivets and the noise comes back again a few days later. It's not just my car - all the loaners I've had did this as well. Then there are lose panels that rattle around corners, fans that are not aligned, nuts and bolts that pick up vibration harmonics. And then there is the drivetrain noise... oh boy.

And I don't just mean "Oh the Engine is so much more quiet that you here other interior noises". Go drive a modern S-class or 7-series on a highway, they're way more quite than a Model S. You would hear a misaligned interior cooling fan much easier than on a Model S.


The car just isn't as solidly built as most other cars on the road yet - never mind Luxury cars. Part of that is Tesla doesn't quite know how to do it yet, and part of it is that they're trying to save weight.
 

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