Tesla brand consideration drops by 3% in Q4, but it doesn’t mean much

New data from Kelley Blue Book shows consideration for Tesla vehicles dropped from 12 to 9 percent in Q4 compared to Q3, but it doesn’t mean all that much, considering the company is selling cars well beyond its manufacturing capabilities.

Tesla has bounced around in KBB’s luxury brand consideration studies over the past several quarters. After scoring as high as 15 percent in Q2 of last year, other luxury brands snuck in, and Tesla slipped to fifth for that quarter. KBB said it was because luxury rivals had moved into the EV sector.

In Q4, Tesla was sitting at 12 percent in Q3, good enough to place it in sixth. However, consideration has continued to fall, as another three percent slide in Q4 has Tesla sitting in eighth, behind Buick with 11 percent and ahead of Volvo at 8 percent.

Brand loyalty studies performed by the publication have shown that CEO Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter last year may have rubbed some consumers the wrong way.

However, KBB believes Tesla will trend upward on the Q1 2023 consideration study as the company slashed prices in the U.S. market by 13 percent in January and now has its entire Model Y lineup qualifying for government tax credits.

Tesla has utilized its world-class margins, which allow it to fluctuate pricing to resurge demand and consideration for its vehicles. The company has used these massive price cuts to push consumers toward its vehicles, and some automakers have responded with discounts of their own.

However, Tesla still maintains a sizeable lead in charging infrastructure and EV software.

BMW was the most considered luxury brand, with 22 percent of shoppers looking at the German automaker’s products as their next purchase. Lexus, at 19 percent, and Cadillac, at 18 percent, round out the top 3.

Interestingly, the Buick Enclave was the most-considered vehicle model of Q4. BMW’s 3 Series and X5 were fifth and sixth on the list, and the Tesla Model 3 was tied with the Acura TLX for tenth place.

It will be interesting to see the data for Q1, as price cuts and government tax credits have likely helped Tesla return to prominence within the luxury consideration standings. In some regions, Tesla Model 3s can be purchased for under $30,000, as long as the buyer is lucky enough to qualify for each offered incentive.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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