According to the news report by CNBC, 2018’s best selling luxury car in the US market was Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 sedan. The Model 3 is a mid-sized, four-door sedan.
Tesla had a turbulent 2018. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk being forced to step down as Chairman of the company as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) due to charges of fraud against him. Added to that, the company also faced tremendous criticism about the working conditions at its factories and the numerous production delays.
Despite the hurdles faced, there was also good news for the electric car maker. Tesla managed to sell almost as many vehicles in 2018 as it had in all the previous years combined starting from 2003. In 2018, the company sold more than 245,000 vehicles.
One of the biggest reasons why the company was able to achieve that feat was because the Model 3 sedan became the best-selling luxury vehicle in the US. Of the 245,000 vehicles Tesla sold last year, 145,846 were Model 3 sedans. That figure outshone its closest competitor, the Lexus RX, of which 111,641 units were sold.
Other competitors in the luxury car segment that fell far behind the Model 3 were the Mercedes Benz GLC, which sold about 62,435 units, and the Audi Q5, which sold 61,835 units in the US.
The Model 3 became the best-selling luxury vehicle in the second half of 2018. In the third quarter of the year, Tesla announced that it had sold 55,000 units of the sedan, and in the fourth quarter, the company sold more than 63,000 units.
Ironically, the Model 3 is actually meant to be Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle, a cheaper alternative to the electric car maker’s more expensive models. While the Model 3 is supposed to cost $35,000, that price is only applicable to units that come fitted with “standard” batteries. However, those batteries will only be available after February this year. Currently, the starting price of the Model 3 is $45,000.
The next cheapest vehicle that Tesla has is the Model S full-sized sedan, which has a starting price of almost $80,000.
Currently, 4,700 units of the Model 3 are being produced per week, which is over two times the number that Tesla was able to produce in the first half of 2018. But that is still below the committed goal of 5,000 units per week. The company was able to briefly meet that target over the summer of 2018, but it wasn’t able to sustain that level of production.
Despite this good news, 2019 has also been off to a rather rocky start. Wall Street was not impressed with Tesla’s fourth quarter earning report. The company had not been able to meet the market expectations on its sales.
It seemed that investors were focusing more on possible roadblocks the company could face this year, including a flood of competition from other car makers and the phasing out of the tax-credits that the US markets got thanks to Trump’s new tax laws. That tax credit had helped Tesla offset production costs.
CNBC reported earlier that Jessica Caldwell, the executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds warned that Tesla was now started 2019 with a “bitter dose of reality” and was now coming to know what it meant to be a “grown-up car company”.
The company’s share price dropped by 9.7% in the first two trading days of 2019. However, in the next few days, Tesla’s stocks rallied and are currently trading at a price of $335.35 per share.