Tesla Model 3
Nicolas Caballero's picture

Tesla Way Ahead of Premium Auto Brands in USA in Q3 2021

As per the latest information available at the time of writing this article, Tesla was the number 1 premium auto brand in the U.S. in Q3 2021, even though it only had 3 models available (3, Y, S): Tesla sold 99,000 units, Japanese brand Lexus sold 81,000 units, German automaker BMW sold 76,000 units, and Mercedes Benz and Audi sold 71,000 and 41,000 units, respectively.
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More specifically: in Q3 in the U.S. the Model 3 outsold ALL BMW passenger cars 43.6K to 35.6K; the Model Y outsold ALL BMW SUVs/light trucks 46.6K to 40K; the Models 3 + Y alone outsold BMW's entire lineup 90.1K to 75.6K. I totally agree with the statement "...the ICE Age is ending faster than most people think.". But even compared to other BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) manufacturers, Tesla´s advantage is still huge: it can produce cars 3 times faster than Volkswagen, according to sources that also state that the German automaker is losing ground in its own country, even before Tesla´s Gigafactory in Berlin is fully operational.

Tesla Giga

But just to give a clear example, we could focus on a topic related to the FSD technology. As I mentioned in earlier articles, Tesla´s big advantage is that it is not only a car company, but more like a high-tech, software & technology company that makes (awesome) cars. Regarding FSD – Autopilot software: as a reminder, Tesla vehicles come standard with a driver assistance system branded as Autopilot. For an additional $10,000, owners can buy “full self-driving,” or FSD - software that Musk has repeatedly promised will deliver full, 100% autonomous driving capabilities. With this capability, you will get access to a suite of more advanced driver assistance features, designed to provide more active guidance and assisted driving under the driver´s active supervision. Elon announced today (October 7th) that ´...FSD Beta 10.2 rolls out Friday midnight to ~1000 owners with perfect 100/100 safety scores. Rollouts will hold for several days after that to see how it goes. If that looks good, beta will gradually begin rolling out to 99 scores & below.´

He also stated that there is a "...Long list of mostly little items, but driving experience is significantly better. We will put notable changes in the release notes.", and that it will be a nation-wide roll-out, scheduled for Friday, October 8th.

Fast Charging

That alone could be a partial explanation (there are obviously many, many more) for the outstanding numbers in Q3 2021. We will discuss these other reasons (Range, Fast Charging network, Battery technology, Chassis design, etc.) in another article. As far as we know, Tesla delivered 241,300 electric vehicles during the third quarter of 2021, according to what the company reported on Saturday (October 2nd). The quarter’s deliveries topped expectations, as analysts predicted that Tesla would deliver around 220,900 electric cars during this period, and again according to estimates compiled by StreetAccount as of September 30. The company produced 237,823 cars in the period ending September 30, 2021, Tesla said in its report. Of that, 228,882 were its Model 3 and Y vehicles, its more affordable mid-range offerings. The remainder produced amounted to 8,941 of its Model S and X vehicles.

FSD Tesla

As we can see, it delivered a record number of electric cars in the third quarter, beating Wall Street estimates after Chief Executive Elon Musk asked staff to "go super hardcore" to make a quarter-end delivery push. Tesla has weathered the chip crisis better than rivals, with its overall deliveries surging 20% in the July to September period from its previous record in the second quarter, marking the sixth consecutive quarter-on-quarter gains. In China, rising exports to Europe and the introduction of a cheaper Model Y helped boost Tesla's production, analysts said. Musk said Tesla suffered an extremely severe parts shortage earlier in the third quarter and had urged employees to make quarter-end delivery push, Reuters reported last month, citing an internal company email.

General Motors (GM.N), Honda (7267.T) and some of its bigger rivals posted declines in U.S. sales in the third quarter, hit by a prolonged chip shortage. GM's third-quarter U.S. sales fell nearly 33% to its lowest level in more than a decade.

Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.


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Comments

Back when Tesla only delivered the 3 or Y to U.S. customers, its quarterly delivery report correlated to the U.S. market. But that is no longer true. If I understand the article, you are not claiming that the data came from Tesla. I don't have much doubt that Tesla's U.S. sales of the Model 3 and perhaps Model Y are impressive, but you have not provided a source name or link for the U.S. market Tesla sales you cite. Can you please do so? Who does have this information, and how did they obtain it? Are the values absolute, or guesses based in indirect metrics?