Is Tesla Motors’s Model 3 Impacting Luxury Gas Car Sales?

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Tesla’s Model 3 has received 400,000 reservations, a big deal for an electric car. For months, there have been discussions about how the less expensive Tesla could decrease sales of the BMW i3, Nissan LEAF and other all-electric car sales, but it appears the bigger effect will be on luxury gasoline & diesel cars. Recently on the TMC forum, questions about how these markets have been doing came up.

Tesla Model 3 affecting luxury car market?

RubberToe, one proactive member, shared a table showing the change in sales in March 2016 versus March 2015, April 2016 versus April 2015, May 2016 versus May 2015, and 2016 through May versus 2015 through May for a variety of potential Model 3 competitors. Almost every car on the list took a significant hit to sales.

As those numbers did not include June, Zachary Shahan of EV Obsession tallied up the June totals (did not include the Toyota Prius as they were not sure how much of a competitor the Prius is). The author added the BMW 4 Series, Acura ILX, Audi A3, Audi A4, and Mercedes CLA Class.

There was a decrease in sales of almost all the cars (June 2015 versus June 2016) except the Lexus ES and Mercedes CLS/E Class. The biggest decreases were in the BMW 4 Series (52%), Audi A6 (30%), Acura TLX (29%), Acura ILX (33%) and Infiniti Q50 (32%).

“Nothing to write home about for these automakers, and that’s amidst an overall increase in the US car market,” says Shahan.

What’s the reason?

There could be many reasons behind the decrease in sales of these cars.

“However, I’m not thinking up any significant, across-the-market influences that could be driving a considerable drop in demand/sales … other than the Model 3. Any ideas?” says Shahan.

There is still a year left for deliveries of the Model 3, provided everything goes according to the schedule. This number could swell as we approach the Model 3 roll-out.

Tesla expects to deliver about 50,000 vehicles during the second half of this year. In the first two quarters, it delivered only 29,190 vehicles, but if it hits this target, it will leave the automaker just short of the low end of its earlier expectation of 80,000 to 90,000 deliveries this year.

On Thursday, Tesla shares closed up 0.7% at $215.94. Year to date, the stock is down more than 9%, while in the last year, it is down almost 23%. The stock has a 52-week high of $286.65 and a 52-week low of $141.05.

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