Tesla outsells some of its competitors
John Goreham's picture

Tesla Outsold Acura, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche in First Half of 2019 in U.S.

Tesla's sales in the first half of 2019 surpass many legacy brands. Here's a look at who Tesla outsold in America and who Tesla did not.

In the first half of 2019, Tesla Inc. shifted its vehicle allotment dramatically compared to the second half of 2018. Instead of focusing on its home market of the U.S., Tesla instead began to populate European and Asian markets with its performance/luxury/premium models. This shift resulted in a dramatic drop in U.S. Tesla vehicle sales of 43%.

Yet, even with this shift of inventory away from the American market, Tesla still managed to outsell a long list of manufacturers who serve the same segments.

Tesla 2019 1st Half U.S. Sales
In the first half of 2019, Tesla is estimated to have delivered a total of 83,875 vehicles in the U.S. market by Inside EVs, an electric vehicle advocacy publication that painstakingly tracks Tesla's deliveries. The vast majority of these deliveries were of the premium/performance Model 3 sedan with nearly 68,000 units sold. By quite a bit the Model 3 remains the top-selling car in the premium/performance segment.

Tesla also delivered about 9,000 Model X luxury/performance minivan-crossover vehicles. Finally, Tesla's legacy luxury/performance sedan, the Model S rounded out sales with a little over 7,000 units sold.

Tesla Outsells These Brands In First Half of 2019 U.S. Market
Tesla's diminished U.S. delivery rate in the first half of 2019 was still larger than most legacy brand luxury/premium automakers who serve the U.S. market.

Here is a quick list of the competitors and peers that could not keep pace with Tesla in the first half of the year:

  1. Acura - Sales of 73,800 vehicles was basically flat compared to the company's run rate last year.
  2. Infiniti - Sales of 63,000 vehicles was down by double digits.
  3. Jaguar - Sales of 62,400 vehicles was an increase of 5% for this luxury brand.
  4. Volvo - Sales of about 50,000 units was an increase of 5% for this luxury brand leaning towards green offerings.
  5. Land Rover - Sales of 46,000 vehicles was about flat for this luxury crossover brand.
  6. Porsche - Sales of about 30,000 vehicles was about flat for this performance/luxury brand.

Some additional luxury/premium/performance brands that Tesla outsold are Genesis, Lincoln, Cadillac, MINI, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ferrari.

Brands Tesla Did Not Surpass In U.S. Sales
As impressive as the list above is, Tesla did not deliver more vehicles in the U.S. this past half year than any of the top premium/luxury/performance brands. Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Audi, and BMW all easily outpaced Tesla in the first half of 2019. More significantly, none seem to really be suffering from Tesla's sales volume. Both BMW and Lexus were up slightly in sales.

Despite the many advocacy publications that portray Tesla as "taking share away from" its peers in the industry, it seems more accurate to say that Tesla has perhaps expanded the market for vehicles with average price points from about $55K to about $110K. Green vehicle buyers are clearly extending their budgets to a higher point. If that is true, it is still hard to see Tesla having taken share from other green vehicle brands. Toyota's hybrid sales are strong. It appears more likely that Tesla may be suppressing the affordable electric vehicle market. The Bolt and Leaf are both well off of their previous high points for sales.

Here's a question for our readers; If Tesla had opted to continue to serve the U.S. market with all of its available inventory in the first half of 2019, would it have passed the big names, or would inventory have piled up due to market saturation for Tesla products? Bear in mind that in March Tesla began offering discounts on new, never driven vehicles. Something Elon Musk vowed never to do.

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John Goreham tweets at @johngoreham. Please send him news tips and follow us at @TorqueNewsAuto.

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I think you have your facts wrong. Tesla sold 90,000 cars in the second quarter, not in the first half of the year.
Thank you John, I have made mistakes in the past and I always appreciate a heads up. The story above is in reference to the U.S. market. My sources have Tesla having sold (delivered) the amount mentioned in the story. Perhaps the 90K you refer to is Tesla's total global sales?
Very even-handed of you John to mention some positive info on Tesla. I am surprised. To me it says a LOT that Tesla can ship volumes of vehicles that actually compete against huge automotive corporations, who offer dozens of vehicles, as opposed to Tesla's Three BEV models. As to stealing market share from other automakers go it seems to me that most of the new Teslas sold are taking away some other automaker's sales in one way or another. Remember that ALL of the EV sales are still less than 3% of the new car sales market overall, but it's the fact that the Tesla models are often taking the place of the automobile market's higher profit models like high performance sport sedans, coupes and crossovers, that is definitely affecting their future model production plans. This is seen by introductions of new BEVs from Porsche's Taycan, and Audi's E-Tron, to VW, Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW, and even Maserati promising a whole new line up of BEVs coming out over the next couple years.