How Tesla Model 3 became the best-selling luxury car in America

It is surprising for a number of reasons, not least of which electric vehicles make up just 1.2% of all vehicle sales in America last year, according to data from

In total, Tesla sold 146,000 units of Model 3 in 2018. It sold remarkably well in terms of hurdles Tesla ( TSLA ) stands as a relatively new automaker and one who actively challenges the industry's accepted sales methods.

A map of Tesla's American showrooms shows big country wings without a single dot. Due to legal challenges from traditional car dealers, which oppose car companies selling directly to customers, Tesla is not allowed to deliver cars in some states. That means some customers have to travel quite far to get one.

The relatively high price of the car is another obstacle. When the model 3 was unveiled, it would have a starting price of $ 35,000, roughly in line with many luxury cars. There was so much excitement that Tesla had more than 1[ads1]00,000 paid reservations of $ 1000 a bit before the car was even unveiled in 2016. But about a year after production began, with just about 30,000 cars, Tesla started selling cars to customers without reservations to a higher price point. It indicated that many reservation holders were still waiting for the cheaper car they had been promised, and it has not yet been produced.
  Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling luxury vehicle in America, despite a number of challenges facing Tesla

Model 3's exceptional performance over other luxury cars comes down to a few factors. One is that the luxury car market is very fragmented. Car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW offer myriad similar priced models, often with little difference between one another. For example, the BMW 3 Series and the 4 Series are essentially the same car, but the 4 Series has a more straight body style and is available with two doors or as a convertible while the 3 Series is available as a sedan, hatchback or wagon. All in all, anyone who spends $ 45,000 to $ 65,000 on a new vehicle – about the model 3's current price range – can have at least 11 different BMW models to choose from, including cars and crossovers.

It also helps that model 3 has essentially no direct competition, said Doug Betts, senior vice president of JD Power and Associates. Tesla has established itself as a luxury brand, and if you want a totally electric luxury in this price range, the Model 3 is basically your only choice, he said.

If you missed Tesla's Super Bowl ad, it's because it wasn't one. The company does not pay for traditional advertising. But the company and CEO Elon Musk have mastered the art of building buzz.

"When the brand was launched, they immediately became the standard carrier," said Ken Schmidt, former communications director of Harley-Davidson and now a branding consultant. "They immediately collected the cache and buzz."

Ten years ago, while other automakers were trying to make electric cars practical, Tesla recognized the importance of making them cool. The Lotus-based Tesla Roadster, with its six-figure price tag and 3.7-second zero to 60 acceleration, states that electric cars could actually be exciting and desirable. Future Tesla models built on that idea, but added practical features.

"[Tesla CEO Musk] has created a vehicle that resonates with a rather influential, if not large, demographic, it's technical people in Silicon Valley," says Karl Brauer, publisher at Cox Automotive. features that have been a more effective sales tool than any online banner ad.

The question now is whether this is sustainable, and over the next few years Tesla will face competition from brands such as Audi and Porsche, which are slated to start their own lines of electric vehicles starting later this year, for its part, musk does not claim to be the phase of the new market listings.

"Our true competition is not the little trickle of non-Tesla electric cars produced, but the enormous The flood of petrol cars is flowing out of the world's factories every day, "he tweeted January 31.

At the same time, Americans will become better acquainted with Tesla's products through the actual experience. zz comes from people who actually live with and use the products. Tesla's reputation must endure control.

"When the cars become more accessible and they are on their way," Schmidt said, "at that time you need to back up the sizzle and the product must be good and the service must be great." [19659026]

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