It is rare for a new automaker to enter the industry, and even rarer for them to find any degree of success, and that’s what makes the story of the Tesla Model S so remarkable. EV Obsession reports that the Tesla Model S to become the second best-selling large luxury car in America, beating out many traditional brands by a wide margin.
In 2014 Tesla delivered 18,480 Model S sedans to customers in the U.S., second only to the 25,276 Mercedes S-Class vehicles that found new owners. The next-closest competitor was the BMW 7-Series (9,744), the BMW 6-Series (8,647), the Lexus LS (8,559), and the Audi A7 (8,133). In other words, Tesla sold twice as many vehicles in the U.S. as its next-closest competitor, which has undoubtedly eaten into the sales of competitors. While the Model S was technically the best-selling large luxury car in 2013, that was also the first full year of sales for the hot-new Model S, and the Mercedes S-Class was transitioning to a new model. I think the 2014 numbers are more important because it shows that the Model S has staying power in the marketplace…big time.
No wonder every automaker on this list is currently developing something to compete with the Model S. It’s also worth noting that Tesla sales are still limited by a backlog of orders numbering some 10,000 vehicles, with wait times ranging from weeks to months. CEO Elon Musk also claims that some 1,400 deliveries slipped from December to January due to a number of variables, but that’s just how the game goes sometimes.
And that’s just one segment of the luxury car market. Up next is the Tesla Model X, which compares favorably with a number of other high-performance luxury SUVs based on what little we already know. Then there’s the Tesla Model III, which Elon Musk has repeatedly stated is going after the gold standard for sporty luxury cars, the BMW 3-Series. With Musk aiming to increase production by 70% this year, we’ll know soon enough just what kind of lasting impact Tesla Motors will have on the luxury car market.