Tesla primes itself to dominate Luxury-car sector after overtaking Audi

The Tesla Model 3's interior. (Photo: Andres GE)

Tesla is priming itself to overtake the entire luxury-car sector after passing Audi for fourth place in registrations in 2020 for the category. Tesla registered 200,561 new registrations in 2020, passing Audi for fourth on the list.

Tesla had its biggest year in 2020 internally. After producing over 509,000 vehicles and delivering just under 500,000 of them, Tesla had culminated the most challenging year in history thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic into its most successful campaign as an automaker in its short and storied history. As a result, Tesla also added to its streak of consecutive profitable quarters, launched a new Gigfactory campaign in Texas in 2020, and began deliveries of the Model Y crossover in China.

But in the United States, the Silicon Valley-based electric carmaker added on to its increased presence by registering more cars than Audi, despite Tesla only mass-producing its cars since Summer 2017. Automotive News data suggests 200,561 new Tesla electric cars were registered in the U.S. in 2020, surpassing Audi with just shy of 184,000 cars. The only three companies that managed to register more cars in the luxury segment than Tesla: Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus.

Tesla has managed to make a name for itself in the highly-competitive luxury vehicle segment. With the average cost of a car in the U.S. ranging around $40,000, most of the lower-end luxury cars from Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus are right in the wheelhouse for many families. Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 in its Standard Range+ variant is under $40,000, and the Standard Range Model Y comes in just above the $40,000 threshold before incentives. Two of Tesla’s most economical EVs fit right in this category of affordable luxury cars and both are a great fit for anyone based on a variety of reasons.

First, the Model 3 and Model Y are Tesla’s two mass-market vehicles. Before them, the only offered vehicles were the Model S and Model X, and they stood well above the threshold for the average cost of a car in the United States. Nevertheless, Tesla has always offered something that other car companies cannot seem to figure out: electric powertrains with range, performance, and unmatched power.

Tesla’s tech has outclassed competitors for years, especially as it is one of the few to currently offer constant Over-the-Air software updates. Along with the savings on gas and what could be a reintroduction to the $7,000 EV credit, Teslas are becoming the most sought-after vehicles because of their affordability, alignment with climate issues, and unmatched performance.

As production continues to be improved by introducing new manufacturing plants and new manufacturing techniques, Tesla will only continue to overtake other long-standing names on the luxury-car sector list. With Audi becoming the first victim of the notable four names, Tesla primes itself to overtake the next three to become the most popular luxury carmaker globally.

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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