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Large Luxury Car Sales Figures In America – April 2013 And Year-To-Date

2013 Tesla Model S black rear three quarter angle

Excluding the extraordinarily unconventional Tesla Model S, which appears to be selling in greater numbers than high-end European sedans, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class continues to be a segment leader. Lexus LS sales have been rising quickly in 2013, but the S-Class is 620 units ahead of the Lexus through four months.

Sales of BMW’s 7-Series continue to slide as sales of the 6-Series, which is available in three different bodystyles, continue to rise. Because of its coupe and convertible origins, we also show the 6-Series in comparisons with the Porsche 911 and Mercedes-Benz SL. So it’s worth noting that in addition to 1103 S-Class sales in April, Mercedes-Benz also sold 37 CL-Class coupes.

USA large luxury car sales chart April 2013

For a moment, however, let’s assume 2000 U.S. Tesla Model S sales in April. That would take the top-end luxury car category up to 6725 sales for the month, up from 4389 a year ago, including the 6-Series. Tesla’s share of that category in April would thus be 30%. The otherwise-class-leading S-Class’s share would therefore be 16%, down from 22% last April.

But here’s the thing, S-Class sales are growing in spite of the Tesla’s introduction. Audi A8 volume is increasing too, as is BMW 6-Series volume, and Lexus LS volume. Even without the Tesla’s estimated 2000 U.S. April sales, sales of these premium cars were up 8% last month. 

Click Column Headers To Sort – April 2014 – May 2013 – March 2013April 2012

Large Luxury Car

+ 30.4% 1929 + 35.6%
+ 48.1% 2831 + 28.1%
+ 68.8% 3209 – 17.6%
– 35.5% 1568 – 9.1%
+ 59.8% 3560 + 69.4%
+ 16.4% 4180 + 19.2%
– 42.3% 1885 – 31.1%

Large (Cheaper) 
Luxury Cars
To Date
% Change
Cadillac DTS *
– 100% 3 – 98.9%
—– 10,021 —–
– 25.6% 1075 – 15.9%
– 43.8% 3485 – 24.0%

Source: Manufacturers & ANDC
* vehicle also displayed in another GCBC segment breakdown
Tesla reported 4900 Model S sales, North America-wide, in the first three months of 2013. estimates another 2100 Model S sales in April. Even an assumption of just 90% of these sales occurring in the U.S., the Tesla is easily outselling all flagship luxury limos.
GCBC isn’t here to break down segments, an impossible task for any group, but to display sales data for the sake of comparison. The more ways sales data can be displayed, the better, right? This explains why you’ll see the XTS and MKS here but also with midsize luxury cars, too, as those are the vehicles with which they are more competitively priced… because readers have wanted it both ways. You can always find the sales results for EVERY vehicle and form your own competitive sets by using the All Vehicle Rankings posts.

Sales data for brands such as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Rolls-Royce etc. are unfortunately not broken down by model. estimates say sales for those brands in the first third of 2013 were 276, 648, 184, 88, and 336, respectively. Total Maserati and Bentley volume is reported, but not by specific models.

Large Luxury Car Sales In America – April 2014 YTD
Large Luxury Car Sales Figures In America – May 2013 YTD
Large Luxury Car Sales In America – March 2013
Large Luxury Car Sales In America – April 2012
Top 15, X2, Best-Selling Luxury Vehicles In America – April 2013
U.S. Auto Sales Brand Rankings – April 2013

  1. Umm, yeah, they have opened like 30 dealerships, except they call them "galleries" because traditional dealerships are trying to force Tesla to sell them franchises. And they are mass producing them, selling them to tens of thousands of people, and already jacked up the price by $2,500 above what it was a couple of months ago.

    In other words, they are doing exactly what you recommend. Which kinda worries me now that I think about it.

  2. I have a solution, if Tesla is as good and confident as you make it out to be, then why don't they open up a dealership like everyone else and mass produce their cars and sell them to tens of thousands of people at way above average transaction prices?

    Exactly they cannot do that, Tesla is just the 'moment hype', here to steal some free investor cash then bail out, as per usual.

    Tesla is just a short term idea and another typical 'stock bubble'

    You need to take that fanboy cap of yours off..

  3. "After Tax credit or not, those are the transaction prices."

    Wrong. Here's a quick explanation. Try to keep up.

    The Federal Tax Credit is not refundable. As a result, a substantial number of people aren't able to claim the full credit, and some are not able to claim any of it.

    Furthermore, its not even close to being a part of the "transaction." Anyone buying a Model S today can apply for the credit next year and receive whatever portion they qualify for.

    In fact, this benefit is no different than the situation for someone who purchases a Mercedes S Class today, and then applies for any of the various business tax credits that are available.

    Also, all of the vehicles on this list sell at a discount from the manufacturer list price. Except the Model S. It is selling at a no-haggle price direct from the manufacturer. But in addition the Model S is selling for substantial markups on E-Bay, Craigslist and dealer lots around the country.

    The Model S is the only one of these vehicles which you can purchase, drive around for a month or two, and then sell used for a higher price than you paid new. Oh, and these secondary buyers aren't even eligible to apply for the credit.

    Get a clue pal.

  4. After Tax credit or not, those are the transaction prices.

    Unless Tesla is stating false info, which lets face it, isn't too uncommon at your favourite brand.

    Everyone quotes what the listed price is, and the base Tesla is less than most here, period.

    You can twist the numbers and figures anyway you like which would help you sleep better at night

  5. And unlike you, I actually track real delivery data for Tesla. Only 30% of deliveries in 2012 are for the base 60kWh model, despite the fact that Tesla made a special effort to build down the waiting list on those cars after producing only 85kWh models in 2012.

    And these 60kWh cars are optioned to the hilt, with an ASP of ~$80k so far, despite most "sales" in Q1 having been completed under 2012 pricing, which was $2,500/car less. We know this both through statistical analysis of the data, as well as an extensive body of anecdotal evidence from real owners.

    The reservation data (also something I track) clearly points to underlying reservation rates for the base model of closer to 20%, though Elon is hoping to increase it to more like 35% with the new leasing program (an increase which will come through higher overall volume, because 85kWh models are selling like hotcakes regardless).

    The Tesla Stores are averaging something near 2 sales per day, per store. We know this through observational studies of the stores themselves, analysis of the financial records of Tesla, and guidance from Tesla itself reporting reservation rates in excess of 20k/year.

    Tesla has not yet begun sales in Europe, and are only now beginning to open the stores that will support their sales push there. Even at this early stage they are receiving ~5,000 reservations per year (we know this through direct counting).

    Tesla wont even begin work on Asia until late in the year at best.

    Keep in mind, Tesla is actively prohibited from actively attempting to "sell" the car at almost every one of their stores. They do no traditional advertising of any kind. And yet they are clearly selling a ton of these things, and without particularly trying.

  6. "You have no clue and are simply a typical 'brochure boy' people like you have absolutely no clue."

    Umm yeah. Good job at posting the price AFTER tax credits. The price Tesla charges is over $70k to start.

    Know what you are talking about before you insult someone.

  7. The Tesla model S has a starting price of $62,400 for the base model. That's well below any of these cars, besides the Equus and Cadillac.

    Besides people have been ordering this car for years, and tesla has just recently started to deliver the cars to the customers. Sales aren't true sales anyway, and Tesla won't post any solid sales data.

    You have no clue and are simply a typical 'brochure boy' people like you have absolutely no clue.

  8. FYI, be careful using the Hybrid Cars estimate. It's basically junk. The only current estimates that are accurate are made in the forums at Tesla Motors Club. Feel free to join up and message me for how to navigate the VIN data if you are interested.

    Based on (very preliminary) VIN data from actual deliveries Tesla likely delivered somewhere between 1,325 and 1,425 cars in April (they are in the process of building 100 loaners, hence the uncertainty).

    The number is lower than Hybrid Cars, because they are just projecting what they think production levels are into the future.

    They are assuming that Tesla is still at 500 cars per week, but that was a temporary surge during March to make up for taking a week of production off in January (after Christmas). They produced at that rate for 4 weeks, which normalized their production levels back to the 400/week plan.

    In April they reduced back to 400/week, after taking the first week of the Quarter off (after Easter). The time off was because of the holiday, and they are also retooling to start European production later this quarter.

    As of now, ALL deliveries have been North America (U.S. and Canada, with Canada being a small number) and likely will remain that way till the end of May at a minimum.

    Taking a week off and producing ~400/cars/week gets you to ~1,400 sales in the three and a half weeks they were operating (with some number between 0-100 needing to be subtracted for loaner production in April and May).

    Both the anecdotal reports of production levels, and VIN analysis pointing to ~9,250 total delivered cars (minus 125-225 company use, depending on loaner production in April/May).

    Also, to be clear, if Tesla had produced 2,000 cars in April, they would have sold 2,000 cars. Their total deposit money on hand has fallen from $138m to $130m from Q4 to Q1 (which indicates a high number of new reservations, mostly replacing the old ones), and they reported current reservation rates of 20,000+/year despite not really trying in Europe yet.

    The only reason not to push production (and thus sales) higher is because they are still trying to get efficiencies in their production line and supplier network up to the planned levels. It's clear that until those kinks are worked out, they will only do temporary increases to make up for factory downtime.

  9. What exactly is your point? The Model S has a starting price of over $70k and goes up to well above $100k.

    As to the "years of orders" comment, what do you think Lease programs are except sales funnels to get old customers to purchase new cars every 3 years?

  10. I wouldn't say the Tesla competes with these..

    The cheapest one is the LS460 Lexus and it has a starting price of $70k and goes well into 90k, besides the sales of the Tesla are from years worth of orders!

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