It looks like Tesla Model 3 might be seriously disrupting the luxury sedan market in the US, based on the sales data in the segment, and Model Y could do the same to the even bigger compact SUV segment.
The Tesla Model 3 has long been positioned as a potential great competitor and electric alternative to the BMW 3 Series, which has been a popular premium sedan for a long time.
In 2018, Tesla reported that BMW’s popular sedan was listed in the top 5 cars Model 3 buyers are trading in.
Bernhard Kuhnt, chief executive officer of BMW North America, admitted that the ‘Tesla Model 3 is putting pressure on the market’.
And it’s not only BMW that is feeling the pain.
A new report from Wheels Joint correlates the decline of virtually all cars in the premium sedan segment to the ramp-up of Model 3 deliveries in the US:
“Tesla Model 3 is disrupting the luxury sedan market at an unprecedented rate. A compilation of historical sales data for top ten best selling luxury sedans in the US has revealed the extent of disruption in this segment.”
They released this chart:
The publication added to the finding:
“A sudden downward shift in all the vehicles can be clearly seen in the chart after mass production of Tesla Model 3 kicked off in 2018. The downtrend is further extended in 2019.”
They listed the sales growth for 2017-2019 of the top vehicles in the segment:
- BMW 4-Series: -53%
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class: -37%
- Infiniti Q50: -36%
- Acura TLX -24%
- Audi A4/S4: -23%
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class: -21%
- BMW 3 Series: -20%
- BMW 5-Series: -5%
- Lexus ES: -0.12%
Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation and there could be other factors involved.
However, no one can deny that while Tesla has been doing great in the segment and outselling the next 3 closest competitors combined, everyone else has seen a decline in sales.
I think the Model 3 certainly has something to do with and apparently I’m not alone since BMW also admitted it.
Now the crazy thing is that I think the Model Y is going to have a similar impact on the compact SUV/crossover segment, which is even bigger worldwide.
If some people didn’t know that you need to go electric to compete, now they will.
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