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Tesla Electric Car Outselling Entire Buick, Lincoln, Porsche Lineups In CA

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2014 Tesla Model S

2014 Tesla Model S

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Yes, it's shocking. California automaker Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is outselling a number of very well established vehicle brands in its home state—with only one model: the all-electric Model S.

In June, Tesla outsold (on the basis of registrations) Buick, Lincoln, Porsche, Volvo, and Cadillac—and far outsold Jaguar and Land Rover combined. And the long-established, full-line luxury brand Infiniti only posted just 51 more registrations in the state than Tesla.

LEARN MORE: Tesla Model S: So Safe, It Broke NHTSA's Testing Equipment

This wasn't just a monthly sales blip, either. Even on a year-to-date basis, through June, Tesla has sold more vehicles in California than Land Rover, Jaguar, Lincoln, Volvo, or Porsche.

The comparisons [via Slate] are based on a recent report from the California New Car Dealers Association, using data sourced from Polk.

The report shows that Tesla's 4,714 registrations in California year-to-date—again through June—altogether give it a 0.6-percent market share in that state.

ALSO SEE: Tesla Model S Isn't A Luxury Car, So Stop Comparing It To Them

Also beat Chrysler, Fiat, and Mitsubishi

Admittedly, all of the brands mentioned so far are also premium or luxury brands. So here's where it gets especially interesting: Tesla also far exceeded the June registrations of Chrysler, Fiat, and Mitsubishi separately. Chrysler in particular is considered a full-line brand, and the California figures are all the more surprising considering that they include fleet registrations (for rental-car agencies, for example).

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans for Tesla to be a mainstream brand (even if the Model S is seen in the market by many as a luxury model), not one that's competing head-on with luxury and niche makers. To that end, there's evidence here that the company is making great progress in its home state, if nowhere else quite yet.

According to a forecast from the same association, about 1.75 million new vehicles will be sold this year in California—which could calculate to more than 10,000 Tesla Model S sales in that state alone, given that current share. Nearly half of Teslas sold so far have been in California.

DON'T MISS: NHTSA Rebukes Tesla Over Non-Existent "5.4-Star" Safety Rating

Tesla earlier this week was in the news cycle for its disclosure of the Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars; the company had made the claim that the Model S had the best safety rating of any car ever tested. Later the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a rare corrective statement essentially slapping Tesla's wrist for the disclosure.

So far just a threat in CA... but how long before others catch on?

No doubt, automakers have taken notice of the automaker. GM CEO Dan Akerson recently admitted that Tesla is a threat; and a recent study highlighted that Model S aren't entirely green-motivated—they buy because of a wide range of motivations, including early technology adoption. And buyers previously drove a wide range of models—everything from the Toyota Prius to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Honda Odyssey.

So far Tesla isn't making nearly as much impact in other states as it is in California. When will Tesla break into the market to this degree elsewhere, and do you think Tesla is snapping up market share from luxury brands? Let us know what you think in your comments below.


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Comments (7)
  1. Perhaps they're confusing 'Tesla' with 'Toyota'.

  2. Hurrah for Tesla but let's be fair Porsche is a specialized brand and Lincoln is adjusting it's market.The real shame is that Buick sells a huge volume in China where it's got special appeal due to being the car of choice by the last Emperor .Buick builds great vehicles for the money but in my state people would rather buy garish Hyundai Sonata over the very handsome Buick Regal.

  3. It's obvious to me and any sane person that the Tesla Model S is an extraordinary vehicle. Designed and built in the USA, the car is the highest US content vehicle sold in this country. Add to that the Model S outperforms virtually all cars sold in this save the pure high performance sports cars and CTS-V. It will outrun and out-handle every 4 door auto sold in the US, foreign or domestic. Virtually every auto magazine and testing organization has said it's the "Car of the Year". Need I say more? Once Tesla is 'legal' in the rest of the country, I am sure it will sell like it does in California everywhere else.

  4. I read the EPA sticker on the car, only 55% American. I believe the Toyota Camry still has the most American-Made sticker on the lot.

  5. In CA so why don't you look at all the States in of just California. That makes sense because of the rich people there, plus with CA pollution, it needs it. Nothing to rave about! Just 23,000 cars sold. GO find a more significant story!

  6. "So far Tesla isn't making nearly as much impact in other states as it is in California." "So far", give them time and they will get there . The more people see them in the pink the more people will "take note". Tesla is also working flat out, and are ,in motoring terms, a small car company so can only supply the numbers that one factory can supply. In 10 years time who knows. IMO, Tesla are taking market share, period. I will be replacing our two "luxury" cars in the next year or two and I'm looking very seriously indeed at Tesla.

  7. What do you do if you drive cross country from LA to Saratoga. Once I'm there for the summer,who repairs it if I have a problem. When can you lease?!

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