Despite tempting incentives, in the vast majority of European markets
average would-be new car buyers remain cautious about opening their
wallets for a still pricey green electric car. But with Tesla’s success
now a hot topic at top-notch clubhouse bars, the same certainly cannot
be said for Europe’s high-income earners
Last year’s European sales race in the status-rich market for the large
saloons favoured by senior bankers and bureaucrats ended with a classic
photo-finish between the Mercedes’ S-Class - the traditional sector
leader - BMW’s 7-Series and Tesla’s Model-S.
Although Tesla’s Model-S, in terms of overall size and interior
roominess is not even a faint match for the usual front-runners in
Europe’s comparatively small luxobarge market, when it comes to pricing,
would-be Model S buyers have to fork out roughly the same money as an
average S-Class buyer.
So it comes as a genuine surprise to many market observers that Tesla’s
pricey Model-S is continuing to attract the attention of comparatively
wealthy new car buyers in Europe.
In a world where almost everything by way of comparison is relative, it
is worthy to compare last year’s West European sales of a rare breed of
cars competing roughly in the same or similar pricing brackets.
Last year, repeating the success already flagged some 12-months earlier,
Tesla’s Model-S still attracted some 12,400 buyers in Western Europe.
That compares with near identical full year regional sales of the
Mercedes S-Class, the traditional top-seller in what still ranks as one
of Europe’s smallest sector.
According to AID’s own data, last year’s exclusive luxury
car segment, made up of little more than a handful of notable
contenders, accounted for just 0.3 per cent of West Europe’s car market.
So it is a rare event that not one, but three models complete a full
sales year with next to identical sales in Western Europe.
And that’s exactly what happened during the course of last year, with
the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series ending last year with almost
identical sales; that’s just a touch under 12,500 sales during the whole
of last year.
Tesla, with its Model 3, is
reportedly gunning for mass-market Toyota buyers
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