Tesla Model 3 sales drop back
John Goreham's picture

Tesla Model 3 Deliveries Drop In June - Toyota Prius Prime Has Outsold Model 3 Since Its Arrival

Despite the hype from Tesla, the company delivered less Model 3 cars last month than it did the month before. On the other hand, Toyota Prius Prime has outsold Model 3.

Despite announcements from Tesla about "Milestones" of its Model 3 production, the company delivered less Model 3 cars to customers in June than it did in May. This according to Inside EVs, the EV-advocacy publication that tracks EV sales and deliveries by VIN numbers and state data on vehicle registration.

Tesla's announcements on the Model 3 focus on short-term production rates and seem to misinform the public and investors about the company's actual delivery rates. Musk highlights any positive news about the horrendous state of affairs of its Model 3 launch which building cars literally inside of a tent erected in its parking lot. Because the high-tech factory isn't working.

Announcements in June by Tesla that it had exceeded a rate of 5,000 Model 3's in a week would seem to indicate that the company would be delivering more cars to customers. In May, Tesla delivered 6,250 Model 3 cars to customers according to Inside EVs. Tesla does not announce its monthly sales like almost all other automakers. Rather, it waits until it is forced by SEC rules to disclose its sales. Given that Tesla delivered over 6,000 Model 3s in May, and given that Tesla was announcing new "milestones" and other breakthroughs in production, one would assume that June's sales would be greater. Inside EVs says no. Just 6,062 Model 3 cars were delivered. Less than the prior month. And roughly a quarter of the volume Musk promised would be delivered each month when the Model 3 launched 11 months ago.

By contrast, the top affordable EV in America, the Toyota Prius Prime continues to chug along each month at the top of its segment. With sales of 2,237 units, the Prius has outsold the Chevy Bolt by 2 to 1 for the second straight month. More interestingly, and completely forgotten by the media, the Toyota Prius prime has outsold the Model 3 since the Model 3 was introduced. By about a thousand cars.

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Do you not like Tesla, or are you talking against the company to get loyal fans to argue against you? You have a banner headline that says that Model 3 sales are down, and the Prius Prime has outsold the Models 3. The model 3 sales for the past two months are over 6,000 per month, which is 3 times as many as the Prius, and the difference between Model 3 sales is 188 cars less than the previous month. Which is virtually inconsequential. The Prius Prime is the cheapest decent PHEV, as as such it is hardly a risk to buy. The Bolt sells fewer per month, but it's not in the same market as the Prius, so that is to be expected.
If you click the "Tesla" tab along the bottom right side of our pages you will see that all the Tesla-related stories come up. Torque News offers news and opinion on all brands. Unlike the EV- Advocacy media that only tells you the good news on the topic of EVs, we report the actual news. We have both positive and also news that may be viewed as negative by some Tesla fans. There are six Tesla stories in the past week. Have you read anywhere else the apparent fact that Tesla's sales declined month over month? You should ask why that it is, not why you can only find that analysis here. - On the subject of Bolt vs Prime, you are simply dead wrong. Both green cars, both plug-ins, both sell at identical price points and both Inside EVs and every EV subsidy program from every state lists them both on their electric vehicle subsidy pages. They are direct competitors and the Prius is crushing the Bolt in sales. And the Volt. And the Leaf. The Model 3 and the Prius are not direct competitors. One has a purchase price of about $45K after subsidies and one has a purchase price of about $19K. We drew the comparison to compare their similar sales in the broader green car marketplace.
John, In your zeal to provide a counterpoint to the positive Tesla articles out there in the press, your article was clearly negative and misleading. You could easily mention that Tesla is struggling to meet their overreaching production goals of 5,000 Model 3s built a week. And that the problems in meeting production have contributed to over 60,000 of the 518,000 Model 3 preorders being canceled. Yet you do not see 450,000 people waiting in line to own a Prius Prime. The Prius Prime is in the same broader "Green car" market as the Bolt, but they are far from being direct competitors. The $33K Volt is a direct competitor to the $27K Prius Prime as they are similarly priced and both are plug-in hybrids, but the Prius has only a 25 mile electric only range, compared to the Volt's (double) 53 mile range, and the Bolt's (different level-238 mile range). The Bolt is a recognized competitor to the Model 3 EV. Chevy will be increasing Bolt production by 20% and hopefully they will pick up some of the Model 3 buyers. It is good that the Prius Prime is selling well, but it cannot be a surprise with Toyota's reputation for reliability and good resale value, and it's $27K base price is cheaper than any PHEV other than the Hyundai Ioniq. But that still does not put the Prius direct competition with long range pure EV cars like the Bolt and Model 3.
I think the last link insertion pretty well covers the reasons that Tesla has sold (delivered) so few Model 3 cars. It is also common knowledge that Tesla's production SNAFUs are ongoing. We will have to agree to disagree on the Bolt. Here in Mass (a key EV target state) new Bolt Premiers are being advertised by dealers for as low as $24,700 after discounts and incentives. In stock. The Model 3 sells for about $45K after the federal tax deduction and state deduction are factored in. They are not direct competitors. One is a luxury car, one is an economy car. The Prius Prime and Bolt have overlapping price points. Check the deals out at this website: https://www.massenergy.org/drivegreen/cars If you prefer to segment cars by the differences in their EV range, that's cool with me. Every Bolt, Volt, Leaf, and Prius Prime buyer wishes they had Tesla Model 3 money they could spare to buy a Model 3. If any were available. There are zero in stock in my state. That is not expected to change any time soon. As you point out, there are hundreds of thousands of people in line and 6K per month being built.
The trick on EV pricing is that state incentives vary, and federal incentives are not likely to stay the same as today. It is true that Tesla's sales method puts their loaded, and most expensive models out first. And a loaded Model 3 comes across as a near-luxury car, but hopefully in a few months the advertised $35K base model 3 will be available to order, and I do think that the base model 3 is fairly comparable to the top model Bolt. In the same way that there is some cross-shopping with the Volt and Bolt, the Prius Prime can be seen as a broad competitor to the Bolt. But I still believe that choosing a BEV (pure electric) car or PHEV (plug-in hybrid) or regular hybrid is really determined by the driver expectations and how they drive. BEVs with a range under 80 miles really limit their use and acceptance for most buyers, whereas the new BEVs with 150-240 miles range mean that they can be a primary car rather than just a around town/city car. But PHEVs and regular hybrids have no real range restrictions, So many buyers like me view them in a different market category.
Tesla has not announced any timeline for the imaginary "base" Model 3 except to say it won't be this calendar year. Nobody has ever tested one. No buyer has ever seen one. Tesla has announced a new dual-motor trim coming next in the Model 3 lineup. Its MSRP will be about $84K. The news today is that Tesla has reached its 200K unit mark and the federal tax rebate phase-out will begin this quarter making the Model 3 more expensive for more buyers. I understand your love for the Model 3. It can be a great car. It will sell rapidly to affluent buyers and then it will plateau like the Model S has. However, discussing or comparing specs of a non-existent base Model 3 in comparison to a Chevy Bolt in stock now in target markets for half the price of the actual Model 3 is really silly. The only thing they share is the fact that they are both electric vehicles.