One of the dangers in appealing to the EV hybrid or diesel market is targeting your approach.
What type of customer will actually buy your products in alternative forms? Obviously Toyota has hit the nail on the head with the Prius, and Lexus sells quite a few ES and RX hybrids as well. However, both the Volt and Leaf have struggled to gain momentum and were forced to slash prices.
Contrary to popular opinion, reaction to luxury segment as far EV or hybrid sales goes, has been almost a guaranteed failure for most. Here at AutoSpies we actually had a running joke if you wanted to guarantee failure, just make a hybrid luxury car over $50K. The buyers simply don’t exist in the numbers that were originally hoped. You can actually argue these buyers got to where they were by doing the math, and they figured out a long time ago it wasn’t worth a hybrid or EV investment. Going green without cost savings is a no go here.
Well that was true for quite a while, but last month’s sales figures of the over $50K market may tell a different story all together.
Chew on these facts and see if you agree:
Total Hybrid sales in July for vehicles starting at $50K+ (luxury not near luxury) was only 296 vehicles (pretty pitiful)
Total EV sales in July for vehicles starting at $50K+ (Tesla) was 1550 vehicles (really?)
Why is Telsa outselling the ENTIRE Hybrid segment over $50K? And why are they having this success?
YTD Hybrid/EV over $50K were only 2,271 units While Tesla sold a whopping 12,200 vehicles. This is over a 5 to 1 ratio from an upstart over the established luxury market. What the heck and how embarrassing!
Clearly those with the cash will part with it for a EV/Hybrid, but only Tesla seems to be making the RIGHT car in the segment because it is the top selling alternative propulsion vehicle over $50k on the planet.
Note the RX hybrid is starting at $46K and ES is $40K so neither are in the summary but CLEARLY Tesla has stumbled on a market that everyone else would swear didn’t exist.
Here may be a few reasons why:
1. The company has always been positioned like Apple and from Silicon Valley so the media bought into it in a different way.
2. Their founder is like more like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson and is definitely the most interesting guy in business today (Don't underestimate the power of leadership)
3. The car design stands out and is beautiful. So the guy who buys (who by the way is more into strippers and whiskey than the environment) has a unique conversation piece and EVERYONE knows its electric.
4. If you peel back to real purchase intent, We believe people are buying for the tech like huge center stack screen/charge monitor via iPhone app more than save the planet intention
5. Lastly, people think its cool to go against the status quo auto companies and are saying with a Tesla purchase that they are not impressed with how long these companies have been dragging their feet and the lukewarm products that are coming out
Earlier today we reported that BMW didn’t think Telsa was a serious competitor to them, maybe they need to wake up and smell the roses because the Germans have a threat on the horizon whether they think so or not.