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Model S Decimates Large Premium/Luxury Car Market

While I do agree there is some stealing from the other car companies in this car segment I suspect it is less than What the numbers suggest. One data point would be me. I purchased the model s this year. If tesla was not around I would never have purchased any of the other cars listed. Maybe a bmw 3 series. But even that would be a stretch because I have a perfectly working ICE vehicle before my model S albeit old. I have also read countless other threads on how people made the number work by giving up on other life's pleasure to afford the model S. I take it those people are also not in the market for these high price ICE.

So one should look at the updated data with some reservations.
 
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esk8mw

Active Member
Oct 6, 2015
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I know some have expressed doubt that the Model X can destroy its segment like the S has, but I think this chart indicates the X is well on its way. BTW, I'd add the BMW X6 as I think it's probably the most direct competitor (along with the M variants). I think the X5 is quite a bit cheaper but maybe it's still an X60 competitor.

The 9 month comparisons at this point are simply not apples to apples because Tesla was in "production hell" with respect to the X up until June. Thus, I think only the last 3 months, where Tesla finally began producing the X is reasonable numbers, are really relevant here. Looking at those 3 month numbers, the X is already beating everything except the Volvo, X5 and MB GL.

I'm pretty sure the X is well ahead of where the S was in terms of market share at this point in its lifecycle. As production issues get fully sorted, production capacity increases and the order backlog is finally cleaned out, I expect X numbers to rise as the S ones did once more of these cars are on the road and will crush the segment.

3 months is a small sample size, so I think full 2017 will be the true test (assuming Model 3 factory tooling doesn't negatively impact S/X production). Thanks for doing these charts!
 
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McRat

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Jan 20, 2016
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@RubberToe, Thanks!

I thought that segment was quite a bit larger, like around 300k deliveries in 2015?

It's really hard to draw the line at a particular model.

I would consider the Suburban a member of the luxury SUV market. It's not your grandfather's Suburban, it's a luxury cruiser now. ACC, Lane Keep, Magnetic Ride Suspension, Rear Entertainment, Luxury Interior, etc. Well appointed it seats 8 and costs $80,000. Base models seat 9 and are cheaper though.

The Yukon XL and Escalade ESV are basically variants on this chassis. These models can exceed $100k.

The Suburban sold 5,575 last month.
 
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On a side note, is there any data on the number of people who actually cross-shop the S-class and the Model S? I remember seeing something about one of the most popular previous cars for Model S owners is a Prius. I find it hard to believe that Prius owners are considering an S-class and choosing a Model S instead. It just seems like a different market and different segment of people. I know when you look at that table it looks like Tesla is stealing luxury market share, but isn't it possible that the luxury market is simply shrinking and Tesla is finding buyers from other segments?

I know it's an old comment, but just for the heck of it:

I have no doubt many Tesla buyers are motivated by sustainability and are coming from Prius, etc. even though it is a big price point jump.

I am a stolen BMW/Benz customer. I looked at the top end 7-series, S-class... fully decked out, the prices were similar (~150ish) - a bit more for Mercedes. It felt like a really well-defined segment.

Model S doesn't have silly stuff like aromatherapy and seat-back screens. The fit and finish by now is a lot better than it used to be, and "good enough" for people in that price point, even if it is still some ways off from Germany or Italy's finest. But who cares. If you like fine leather, get a couch. Drive a P100D around the block once and it will make even the finest ICEs feel noisy and sluggish, forever.

The sales stats continue to reflect what looks to me like an objective difference in quality.
 
If luxury is your goal then you want a Maybach or Bentley, if you want mediocre luxury, mediocre performance, mediocre but declining strokes to your ego, and soon to be poor resale value then BMW, MB, Porsche, Lexus, and Audi are the ticket. If you want great performance, great handling, low maintenance, no gas, quite & smooth, and larger ego strokes, and can handle slightly less than mediocre luxury then Tesla.
 
Kinda pointless this comparison, Tesla has monopoly yet in the 200+miles range electric "premium" sedans/SUV segment, so if you want such a BEV sedan/SUV you have no other choice today. When Audi/BMW/Volvo etc. will have similar BEVs, the comparison will make more sense.

So what you're saying is EVs are inherently better than ICEs in the same class? Also by the time other manufacturers have competing EVs Tesla will be selling over half a million cars a year. The competitors won't be able to scale up without destroying their ICE business. Not even mentioning batteries...
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Kinda pointless this comparison, Tesla has monopoly yet in the 200+miles range electric "premium" sedans/SUV segment, so if you want such a BEV sedan/SUV you have no other choice today
I don't think the comparison is useless, I think it shows that Tesla is clearly taking sales from other manufacturers who offer vehicles in the same price range.
So what you're saying is EVs are inherently better than ICEs in the same class?
I would say "Definitely EVs are inherently better than ICEs in the same class". To me it is obvious that a carefully designed EV like a Tesla is a fundamentally better car than any ICE in its class. The multiple reasons why have been discussed innumerable times on TMC. Let me know if you want me to list them, again.
 
Kinda pointless this comparison, Tesla has monopoly yet in the 200+miles range electric "premium" sedans/SUV segment, so if you want such a BEV sedan/SUV you have no other choice today. When Audi/BMW/Volvo etc. will have similar BEVs, the comparison will make more sense.

I guess what I'm saying is, there may be a lot of people who want to spend a couple hundred grand on a nice car, where if the priority is just overall quality of the ride, they will choose Tesla, because it spanks the former market leaders, even though EV started out as, basically, a negative for a lot of that audience: some new thing to worry about that they don't understand yet, hire an electrician for their garage, etc.

But if they care about the driving experience at all, it is so much better that they dive in. And by now Tesla has actually changed the market and made it desirable.
 

McRat

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Jan 20, 2016
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You actually need to drive a modern ICE SUV. Especially the magnetic shock ones, and especially over torn up roads. They not only ride smooth for a locomotive, but they actually handle pretty good. Surprising but true. Not my cuppa, but they haven't stagnated over time. There is fierce competition in this market, so all the leaders ride smooth and handle effortlessly.
 

Model S M.D.

Ludicrous Radiologist
Oct 31, 2015
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You actually need to drive a modern ICE SUV. Especially the magnetic shock ones, and especially over torn up roads. They not only ride smooth for a locomotive, but they actually handle pretty good. Surprising but true. Not my cuppa, but they haven't stagnated over time. There is fierce competition in this market, so all the leaders ride smooth and handle effortlessly.

Its easy to be smooth when the car is so slow :)
 
I don't think the comparison is useless, I think it shows that Tesla is clearly taking sales from other manufacturers who offer vehicles in the same price range.
I would say "Definitely EVs are inherently better than ICEs in the same class". To me it is obvious that a carefully designed EV like a Tesla is a fundamentally better car than any ICE in its class. The multiple reasons why have been discussed innumerable times on TMC. Let me know if you want me to list them, again.

It was a slightly smarmy, rhetorical question ;)
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
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You actually need to drive a modern ICE SUV. Especially the magnetic shock ones, and especially over torn up roads. They not only ride smooth for a locomotive, but they actually handle pretty good. Surprising but true. Not my cuppa, but they haven't stagnated over time. There is fierce competition in this market, so all the leaders ride smooth and handle effortlessly.

Glad to hear it. I'd like to see the magnetic shocks and 360 camera technology and some other odds and ends on my next Tesla - but the loud noises for long times before anything actually moves and the swallowing a gallon and a half of processed dinosaur blood per minute parts keep the modern ICE SUVs you describe from being competitive for me. :)
 

ZachF

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,464
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Park City, UT
This thread went dormant some time ago, so I thought it would be interesting to have a follow-up to see whether Model S continue pillaging through the premium/luxury large sedan segment of US automotive market in 2016 after it did the same in 2015.
Yes, it does.

The results during the first nine month of 2016 might surprise a few skeptics:
  • Model S accelerated it's sales growth: sales during first 9 month of 2016 grew 58.26% as compared to the same period last year, vs 51.01% YoY in 2015
  • Sales of all competitors shrunk in first 9 month of 2016, with the exception of BMW Series 7, which enjoyed sales growth, but apparently at the expense of BMW Series 6. Combined growth of Series 6 and 7 was negative.
  • Model S gained a whopping additional 10% of market share, improving on stellar performance in 2015 when it commanded huge 25% of the segment.
  • All competitors seem to be helpless to stop Model S for the second year in a row. This might explain a slew of EV announcements on from the world's best automobile companies.
  • Tesla is poised to repeat this success in the compact premium/luxury segment with Model 3. This starts to look downright ominous to the European competitors. Developing new EVs to compete with Tesla will require substantial resources, while their income from the sales of traditional ICE vehicles takes huge hit due to Tesla's rapid market share advances
The data are from the Tesla Q4 2015 shareholder's letter, GOOD CAR BAD CAR (2014, 2015, 9 months 2015, 9 months 2016 sales for all manufacturers except Tesla), Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard (2015 9 months and 2016 9 months deliveries for Model S)

View attachment 197444


Wow...

If we assume the growth rates end up being the same for the whole year, it could look something like this for the whole year

39,885 Tesla Model S
6,432 Audi A7
4,362 Audi A8
4,089 BMW 6 series
13,492 BMW 7 series
3,448 Jaguar XJ
5,592 Lexus LS
4,566 MB CLS-Class
18,396 MB S-Class
4,287 Porsche Panamera

104,549 Total

It also seems Tesla has now likely overtaken Mercedes as a whole... Using these numbers above, breakdown by manufacturer:

2014-- 2015-- 2016(est based on 9mo)
16,689 25,202 39,885 Tesla
14,037 12,711 10,794 Audi
18,391 17,438 17,581 BMW
32,257 28,086 22,962 Mercedes-Benz
8,559 7,165 5,592 Lexus LS
4,329 3,611 3,448 Jaguar
5,740 4,985 4,287 Porsche

Now, lets break it down by country:
2014-- 2015-- 2016
70,425 63,220 55,624 Germany
16,689 25,202 39,885 USA
8,559 7,165 5,592 Japan
4,329 3,611 3,448 UK

If I'm an executive of one of the German luxury brands I'm probably not sleeping very well... These are very high margin car sales that are getting lost. I guess the real question is by 2018 will Tesla overtake all of the German OEMs combined?
 

ZachF

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,464
40,005
Park City, UT
If luxury is your goal then you want a Maybach or Bentley, if you want mediocre luxury, mediocre performance, mediocre but declining strokes to your ego, and soon to be poor resale value then BMW, MB, Porsche, Lexus, and Audi are the ticket. If you want great performance, great handling, low maintenance, no gas, quite & smooth, and larger ego strokes, and can handle slightly less than mediocre luxury then Tesla.


Yep, there is many reasons the model S is destroying the German competition, and value is one of them. The large German luxobarges have some of the sharpest depreciation of any car you can buy, losing 40%+ of their value after 50,000 miles compared with 28% for the model S. Factor in "fuel" costing 3-4 times as much, and the total cost of ownership for a $140,000 top-of-the-line P100D could cost less than the entry-ish level $95K Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 series.

$140,000 Tesla:
-$39,200 (28%) depreciation after 50K miles
-$2,000 electricity cost
=$41,200 cost to own

$95,000 Beemer
-$38,000 (40%) depreciation after 50k miles
-$7,000 gasoline cost
=$45,000 cost to own

it's no wonder Tesla is eating BMW/Audi/MBs lunch... Coupled with the fact that people finally seem to be waking up to the fact that "German engineering" is overrated and their cars turn into total shop queens after ~75,000 miles, and European cannot do electronic to save their lives, I think there is an existential crisis in the works for Deutschland.
 

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