Very few could’ve predicted that Tesla’s Model S, with its $70,000+ price tag, would be outselling similarly priced German luxury cars last quarter, but that is indeed the case. According to new data from LMC Automotive Tesla’s electric model is beating the pants off of the gasoline-powered Mercedes S-Class, the BMW 7 Series, and the Audi A8. In Q1 about 4,750 lucky buyers got their hands on a Tesla Model S, while just 3,000 car shoppers purchased the Mercedes S-Class.
Tesla’s new start-up status and subsequently limited network of dealers does not seem to be holding the company back at all. Last Wednesday the company announced that they had exceeded Wall Street estimates for the Model S, and proceeded to raise their own sales estimates for 2013 from 20,000 to 21,000 vehicles. The very next day Consumer Reports came forward and named the Tesla Model S as the best car they had ever tested (The Model S scored 99 out of 100 points, after losing a point because it has to be recharged several times when driving long distances). Jake Fisher, head of automotive testing at Consumer Reports said the car’s performance was “off the charts” during the testing phase. “We don’t get all excited about many vehicles, and with this car we really did” he added.
Tesla admitted that 12% of the revenue it has generated so far ($68 million dollars) this quarter has come from selling ZEV credits (zero emission vehicle credits), which other auto makers have been quite upset over. Somehow North Carolina lawmakers are even considering aban against Tesla’s direct sales business model. Despite the hiccups, the ten-year-old company posted record revenues this quarter since this is the first quarter where the Model S has been produced all three months. With this full-time production schedule, Tesla was able to generate $561.8 million in revenue in Q1 of 2013 compared to just $30.17 million in revenue in Q1 of 2012.
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