Tesla Extends Its Lead in the U.S. Luxury Sedan Market
Tesla Motors’ Model S is continuing to win market share in the U.S. luxury sedan market, extending its lead over competitors as American sales surged by as much as 59% in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The electric automaker’s rare disclosure of its sales figures shows that the number of Model S vehicles sold in last year’s third quarter grew from around 5,800 to approximately 9,200. Tesla has now captured nearly a third of all sales in the category, the automaker said.
The announcement reflects the rising popularity of the Model S over similar cars from rivals like BMW and Mercedes. In a chart compiled by Tesla (TSLA), the Model S’s closest competitors were the Mercedes’ S-Class and the BMW 7-Series, which pulled in sales of around 4,900 and 3,600 respectively, according to the report.
Fortune’s David Z. Morris reported on Tesla clinching the top spot in America’s luxury sedan market in February, pointing out that the company’s then-released strong fourth quarter figures laid bare two key takeaways.
“First, the Tesla brand is maintaining a solid reputation against some headwinds,” wrote Morris. “Second, and much more importantly, the numbers suggest that anxiety about electric cars as a whole is fading among higher end car buyers. The big worry about electrics has always been about their limited range compared with gasoline powered cars. But the Model S’s ability to go more than 200 miles on a charge has put that to rest.”
Competitors, of course, are racing to bite back at Elon Musk’s trendy Palo Alto upstart. While Mercedes’ S-Class suffered a 9% decline in sales over the same yearlong period, sales of the BMW 7-Series shot up by 219%, according to competitor data provided by Tesla in the report.
BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger announced plans this week that many took as a challenge to Tesla, announcing that the German producer “will systematically electrify all brands and model series,” according to MarketWatch. Krueger told Bloomberg that he could see plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars across the BMW and Mini brands accounting for somewhere between 15% and 25% of sales in approximately the next 10 years.