Tesla fell in Kelly Blue Book’s most recent Q3 analysis report, yet the results contradict Tesla’s actual Q3 sales volume.
Kelly Blue Book’s (KBB) recent Q3 report is not as cut and dry as it first appears. The report states that “shopping for Tesla plunged in the third quarter,” most luxury buyers instead looked to BMW, which dominated the segment. Yet, with sales data from both companies contradicting KBB’s results, conclusions are confounding.
KBB’s Q3 analysis primarily focuses on the metric of “consideration.” The company measures consumer consideration via surveys that “also weave in shopping behavior to determine how vehicle brands and models stack up with segment competitors when it comes to consumer shopping.” Based on this metric, KBB found that BMW remained the #1 luxury brand while Tesla fell behind Lexus, Cadillac, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, coming in last in the segment. Toyota took the top spot for non-luxury brands.
Looking back to the Q3 sales data from this year, the discrepancy between KBB’s results and actual sales quickly becomes apparent. Tesla had a solid third quarter of the year, delivering 343,830 vehicles worldwide, a dramatic improvement from the dip seen in Q2 of this year. Conversely, while BMW saw a modest growth of 3.8% in Q3 in the U.S., the auto group saw sales decline by 0.9% worldwide.
So what do these sales numbers mean for KBB’s conclusions? While Tesla doesn’t have a shortage of demand (check the wait times for vehicles), do these results indicate a lessening interest in the brand? Furthermore, was there a strong correlation between “customer consideration” and the vehicles they ultimately bought?
When contacted for comment, KBB pointed to a statement from analyst Venessa Ton who touched on Tesla’s apparent decline; “Increased competition from other automakers offering more new electric vehicles, price hikes, and a lack of new products all may have contributed to Tesla’s considerable decline. However, we have seen Tesla’s shopping numbers drop before, and they always eventually rebound. It will be interesting to see if they rebound more slowly or quickly this time around.”
With these conflicting reports from Q3, it isn’t easy to come to a viable conclusion from KBB’s survey results. Still, it will be interesting to see if the results are replicated in Q4. Nonetheless, Q4 is proving to be another pivotal quarter that may show how customers are breaking into the EV market as it continues to expand.
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