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Tesla shows how the Model S is totally disrupting the Large Luxury car market in the US


As part of its shareholder letter posted ahead of its earnings call today, Tesla demonstrated its catastrophic affect on the US luxury car market with a simple table. If you start at the bottom, the market is at about 100,000 cars a year and it’s basically unchanged from 2014 to 2015.

The market is for “large luxury” cars and includes not only the Model S but Audi’s A7 and A8, BMW’s 6 and 7 series, the Jaguar XJ, Lexus LS Mercedes CLS and S Class and the Porsche Panamera. Each of these models has fallen in sales from almost 5%-over 15% from 2014-2015.  Where did these sales go?

Boom! The Tesla Model S is up over 50% going from 16,689 to 25,202 units from 2014 to 2015 (we kind of knew this already, but never had the official US sales). Tesla noted:

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.

While it is only one data point and surely Tesla is painting this picture to their advantage, it is a stark reminder of what kind of damage the Model S’ disrupting power has had on the industry. Further, it should be a beacon for mass market car manufactures on the potential disruption power of the upcoming Model 3, which will be unveiled on March 31st as confirmed by Tesla today.

Update: We extrapolated the data to see what happens to the US mid-luxury market if the Tesla Model 3 does as well as the Model S.

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  1. R3D - 7 years ago

    Even Elon himself said, and I totally agree with him: Model S is NOT a luxury car!

  2. Bob Post - 7 years ago

    Where do Cadilac and Lincoln belong?

    • BEP - 7 years ago

      In the past.

      • Electric Feel - 7 years ago


    • Steve Stephens - 7 years ago

      Caddy and Lincoln do not yet sell Large-Sedan luxury models.

    • muyiwa - 7 years ago

      You’re right – its not a luxury car – I think its being compared in that category because of price and also because people are picking the Tesla over some luxury cars.


Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting