Audi reacted to a report posted by CNN Money earlier this month regarding, Tesla Model S sales out-numbering that of Audi A8. The headlines in the report stated – Tesla sales beating Mercedes, BMW and Audi (which, we agree is misleading). But, Tesla sells just one car, Model S and it is priced from $70,000. So the comparison made by CNN was about the premium car sales.
For the first three months of 2013, Audi sold 1,462 units of A8, BMW 7 Series saw sales of 2,338 units and Mercedes Benz sold 3,077 units of its S Class in America. Tesla Model S sales for the same period crossed 4,750 units, which resulted in the controversial headline. The point CNN making in their report, is that the car, (Tesla Model S) which most thought wouldn’t sell or nobody could afford, managed to outsell the existing leaders in it’s segment (well, if you consider just price).
So, Audi giving out a press release in order to prove that their overall sales were much better than that of Tesla’s, was a little out of place. They have now retracted the press release from their official website, but you can still have a look it below.
Not so fast to put Tesla on that particular pedestal
Posted on May 17, 2013 2:38 PM
Not so fast
Investors, press and a lot of front-runners are enthusing over the progress of Tesla in selling all-electric vehicles, and doing so profitably, when other EV brands are faltering. But some reports are giving Tesla too much credit.
A headline on CNNMoney.com this week, for instance, said “Tesla sales beating Mercedes, BMW and Audi.”
But the fact is that Tesla’s reported sales of 4,750 units of its Model S electric car in April were less than half of Audi of America sales of 13,157 vehicles in the month, which represented a 16-percent rise from a year earlier. BMW and Mercedes-Benz sold even more than that.
The story’s misleading headline came from the fact that Model S did outsell at least one of each of the German luxury brands’ models that are in the general price range of the Tesla vehicle. Audi A8 sold 1,462 units in the U.S. in April, for instance.
And while Model S is Tesla’s only nameplate at this point, the Audi A8 is the brand’s flagship model and is aimed at consumers in the most exclusive segment of the market. The demand for premium models including the Audi A6, A7 and A8 is growing but remains just one segment for Audi.
The CNNMoney.com story did mention that it wasn’t making a “perfect comparison,” noting that each of the German brands sells “a full range of cars and SUVs” and that pricing of the Tesla S and the comparison models wasn’t apples-to-apples.
To be sure, Tesla has been riding a boom in investor and consumer interest based on its apparent ability crack the code for EV sales with its $70,000-and-up Model S.
But while Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has raised Model S sales estimates for 2013 to 21,000 units, the brand faces a number of long-term issues that also were noted this week by American press.
“Tesla has to show it can be consistently profitable with a single product that is priced so high that most buyers can’t afford it,” as USA Today put it. “There are questions, too, about whether it can keep its order books full, or whether the number of people who crave electric cars is limited.”