Tesla is still the leader in the luxury car market in the U.S., far ahead of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which are usually the leaders. Even though Elon Musk-owned Tesla doesn’t share its exact sales numbers, current estimates say that the company sold over 100,000 more luxury vehicles than its next closest competitor. This is also a big win for the U.S. auto market.
The Automotive News Research and Data Center thinks Tesla sold 114,000 cars in Q3, which is a 47 percent increase from the same time last year. German automaker BMW is the second best-selling brand, but Tesla is ahead by about 112,050 cars. Sales of premium luxury cars have been going up all year.
In the third quarter, 539,807 units of premium brands were sold, which is a 7.1% increase from the second quarter. In comparison, the auto industry as a whole stayed the same during the quarter, which shows how the luxury sector has grown over the course of the year.
Cox Automotive analyses show that the supply of luxury cars is also getting better. As of September 26, the average number of days a luxury dealer had in stock had gone up to 47, from 44 the month before.
Mercedes-Benz, another German automaker, and BMW have been trading places all year as the second-best-selling luxury car brand, behind Tesla. Mercedes had been behind BMW for more than a year, but in the second quarter, they caught up and moved into second place. But in Q3, BMW took the lead again.
The fact that Tesla has become the top premium seller in the auto market is likely a sign that it will beat the German companies, which have been major players in the U.S. market for more than a decade, for the year.
BMW only sold 6,900 electric cars in the U.S., and more than 4,300 of those sales happened in the third quarter. The automaker said that its U.S. factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina is one reason why the company has increased sales and why it expects to keep growing for the rest of the year.
“We took advantage of being at home,” said Shaun Bugbee, head of sales for BMW North America. “Our stock situation will get better for Q4.”
Still, the automaker’s sales are nowhere near those of Tesla, whose Model Y leads sales in the U.S. and around the world. As the market moves into the fourth quarter, Tesla will continue to ramp up production at its Gigafactory in Texas, which opened earlier this year, and at its Giga Berlin factory, which opened earlier this year in Germany.