Tesla Model 3 is disrupting the luxury sedan market at an unprecedented rate. A compilation of historical sales data for top ten best selling luxury sedans in the US has revealed the extent of disruption in this segment.
A sudden downward shift in all the vehicles can be clearly seen in the chart after mass production of Tesla Model 3 kicked off in 2018. The downtrend is further extended in 2019.
Sales Growth 2017-2019
Since we are investigating the impact of Tesla on ICE market, a comparison between 2017 sales (which is the preceding year of Model 3’s mass production) and 2019 should reveal the true extent of impediment to the growth rate of luxury sedans.
BMW 4-Series (-53%)
First unveiled in 2013, BMW 4-Series initially enjoyed few years of impressive sales, but suffered from a significant decline of 53 percent after its sales dropped from 39,634 in 2017 to 18,621 vehicles in 2019.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class (-37%)
The disruption is most evident in Mercedes C-Class when we zoom out and look at all the historical sales data from 1994 to 2019. Tesla has completely shattered the growth trajectory of C-Class.
Introduced in 1993 as a replacement for the 190 (W201) range, the C-Class has always been among the best sellers under Mercedes lineup. But after release of Tesla Model 3 something extraordinary happened, C-Class sales dropped to 49,151 units in 2019, its worst in 19 years, and a 37 percent drop from 2017 when it sold 77,446 vehicles.
Infiniti Q50 (-36%)
The Infiniti Q50 replaced the Infiniti G sedan in 2013, manufactured by Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand. It saw spectacular growth in first few years and sold 40,739 vehicles in 2017, the sales then dropped to 25,987 in 2019, a 36 percent decline.
Acura TLX (-24%)
Manufactured by the luxury vehicle division of Honda, The Acura TLX is a compact luxury sedan with starting price of $33,000. The production version was first unveiled in 2014 at NYIAS and its sales began later that year. Acura sold 34,846 vehicles in 2017 that decreased by 24 percent in 2019 to 26,548 vehicles.
Audi A4/S4 (-23%)
In production since 1994, Audi A4 is a compact executive car with a price tag of $44,600 and is made by German automaker Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group. A4 also suffered from a major blow after seeing a decline of 23 percent in sales from 34,434 in 2017 to 26,435 vehicles in 2019, its lowest in 22 years.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class (-21%)
A mid-range luxury sedan in Mercedes line-up with a price tag of $54,050, the E-Class has been in production since 1953. Its sales dropped to 11 years low in 2019 to 39,172 from 49,473 vehicles in 2017, a 21 percent drop.
BMW 3 Series (-20%)
The 3-Series has remained one of the best selling sedans under BMW’s lineup throughout its life after its debut in 1975, but its sales plunged to 25 years low in 2019 when it sold 47,827 vehicles as compared to 59,449 units in 2017. Its starting price is $40,750 for 330i trim with 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive.
BMW 5-Series (-5%)
A midsize luxury sedan with starting price of $53,900 for its 530i trim featuring 2.0-liter engine and rear wheel drive. The 5-Series sales declined by 5 percent, selling 38,709 vehicles in 2019 as compared to 40,658 vehicles in 2017.
Lexus ES (-0.12%)
Out of all top ten selling luxury sedans, Lexus ES market share remained relatively stable, just a meager drop of 0.12 in sales from 51,398 units in 2017 to 51,336 in 2019.