2012 Tesla Model S
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And America's best selling plug-in vehicle for 2013 is...the Tesla Model S? That's what Inside EVs calculates by way of extrapolating the company's production capacity of 400 units a week and the fact that the company's still working down its backlog of orders.

Tesla, of course, is mum on its sales numbers, with spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks saying only that the company will reveal some sales details during its fourth-quarter 2012 earnings call scheduled for later this month.

So, that leaves us with speculation. With as many as 1,600 Model S sedans being delivered a month, Tesla in January may well have led all automakers, as General Motors and Nissan were hamstrung by inventory issues for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in and Leaf EV, respectively. Leaf sales in January fell 3.8 percent from a year earlier to 650 units, while the Volt moved 1,140 units, which was twice as high as 2012 figures but down from 2,633 units in December. Meanwhile, the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid moved 338 units in January, while Toyota sold 874 of its Prius Plug-in Hybrids. So, if Tesla did deliver 1,600 Model S vehicles in January, well, that'd be quite something.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      G
      • 2 Years Ago
      That clinches it! I'm buying Tesla Motors stock tomorrow!
        Giza Plateau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @G
        Gregory, the stock is at an all time high and the company is in all time high debt and has never come close to turning a profit. It could work out but I sure wouldn't take this bet. Don't say I didn't warn you. There is a difference between hype and business reality. Have you ever heard of a stock market bubble.. These are greedy lemmings and will fly off a cliff with great enthusiasm.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          "has never come close to turning a profit" True, but prior to Model S reaching full production, Tesla was not expected to make a profit. Questions of profitability should be answered in six months or so. In the meantime, there's just one question you have to ask yourself Do I feel lucky?
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @G
        The stock market is gambling. Don't bet anything you aren't willing to lose. If you're already aware of this - then sorry for bringing it up.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @G
        It hit a high of $39.17 today. Next week it should go up a little more when the quarterly numbers come out. The low was $25.52 in the last year so you've missed a lot. Good luck.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      @EA It was a reasonable question he asked. He just responded as if I had insulted him. It would have been reasonable, if he hadn't seen some of my other posts, to ask me to justify my response. Calling me names felt uncalled for. He is definitely pro-Tesla and so am I. I don't get what I wrote that pi$$ed him off. From all the evidence I'm seeing, the number of people putting down $5K to reserve a car is breaking even with the number of cars they are producing. That seems to me to be a very very good thing for Tesla and for those of us hoping for EV's to become competitive with ICE cars.
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perhaps it's not really a fair comparison, but Tesla's sales success does tend to bear out may long held belief that the greatest deterrent to pure EV adoption is the unacceptable perception of range. Of course other factors play a part. The Tesla's easily the best looking EV. Tesla's price premium is much easier to conceal in a high priced vehicle, fast charging capacity etc. But new orders arriving daily and production around 500 per week, must be very heartening for Elon Musk and Tesla shareholders. Well done Tesla !
        carney373
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        I fear that Tesla's marketing on the range issue is going to blow up in their face. Half hour of charging for 3 hours of driving sounds reasonable. Hey, we all have to stretch our legs, use the john, have a meal, or even do a little shopping every now and then. But that three hours of range, I suspect, involves some very questionable assumptions, such as a one man car with zero cargo doing 55mph. Not a family with tons of stuff for the beach or Christmas at Grandma's doing 75 with the heater or AC on.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          @ carney373 Like any pure EV, owning a Tesla model S involves some compromises. Ev's are still evolving, it's less than 5 years since the first production EV was available world wide. Since then, EV's and EV technology has made astonishingly rapid progress. What the next 5 years will bring from the fertile brain of Elon Musk may astonish the world even further.
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          @ ElectricAvenue "The load in the car is pretty much irrelevant to energy use" . Huh ? (are you trying to kill Giza/DF with apoplexy ?). Adding 1000lbs to even a Tesla S, will certainly affect energy use !
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @carney373
          The load in the car is pretty much irrelevant to energy use. The big question is speed. And that is pretty much a choice made by the driver. The range is known to vary directly with speed, and Tesla is quite up front about how it varies with speed. So, someone expecting 300 miles at 75 mph is just being ignorant. Still, I wish they wouldn't quote 300 miles any more.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      This assumes that we can trust the 400 per week number being floated and I'm not sure we can. If numbers are truly that high then Tesla has no reason not to publish monthly numbers
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        They also have to reason to publish monthly numbers.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Nope. I meant no reason to publish monthly numbers.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Rotation. Was that sentence correct?
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          :) I asked because the sentence still worked as it was written. I just didn't think that was the point you were trying to make.
        jkirkebo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        I've been tracking newly assigned VINs since new year, and so far it seems production is a little above 500 cars per week. Also there were 154 new EU reservations in just two days now :)
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jkirkebo
          The EU numbers are really starting to go up. Not bad for only a couple cars driving around being shown.
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love how Tesla not publishing monthly numbers throws anti-Tesla Trolls into apoplectic fits. I hope they continue with their practice of only releasing quarterly numbers, just because it drives the Trolls nuts. =)
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @raktmn
        Giza/DF is not a troll about Tesla, just a pessimist.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would expect so. Deliveries are going strong right now. That's a lot of sales for such an expensive car.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Well, they are working their way through a four-year waiting list. People have had plenty of time to save up for their dream EV. It will be more interesting when they finally get to the point where the reservation list is down to a month or so, and to see how many new orders flow in on a regular basis.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Tesla really needs to crank up production even more. Reservations are really staying even with production. They need to increase production to the point where they are getting the list down to a reasonable wait time. Europe is just now starting to have an impact and they seem to be adding about 20 reservations a day. That's with only a couple cars being shown there. Once cars are driving around Europe there could be a big jump in those sales just like what happened in the US.
          Weapon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          By the time they run out of saved reservations the model X will be out with more reservations. So even if magically Model S demand turns to 0 (which isn't going to happen obviously) the Model X demand reservation list is also decent in size. There is also people like me who are waiting on more superchargers in their states which Tesla promised to get most places covered by end of the year and over 100+ superchargers by 2015. That is also when the BlueStar comes out which will more then likely sell even more.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Reservations are still strong. About 1500 during the month of January. Assuming that all the die hard EV fans already entered the waiting list a long time ago, these are new sales, based on the good reviews the model S has been receiving. And they haven't even advertised the car and are still building their Tesla stores and supercharger network. And I wouldn't underestimate patriotism. A lot of people are very glad to see a car that can compete with the german 'monopoly' on premium sport sedans.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Anne: The Germans don't have a monopoly on premium sports sedans. And the Model S isn't luxurious enough to compete in that space anyway. Grendal: It would be nice to see them catch up some, but I think that Tesla will probably just wait for orders to drop instead. Europe will provide a significant number of sales. But Tesla really has to do more than increase production. They need to figure out their 3-phase charging answer. High current charging is important to Tesla, high current AC is a key part of their pitch (to keep home charging times down) and as we all see, high current DC (supercharging) is important too. I figure Tesla is working on this right now, but they need to figure it out before trying to push hard into Europe.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          And the Model X competition. And BlueStar. Still, by the time they get there, their already racked-up sales will be very good.
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        If I had a high net worth, I would be on the list though.
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          I think most Early adaptors are upper class, but not rich. The rich really don't give a damn about gas prices. Someone in the 80th percentile, though, can do some math and find big savings.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          Yes it is Dan.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          Well, remember, you don't get rich by throwing away money. (see book The Millionaire Next Door) But I see your point about early adopters. There are people who are that adventurous. And I know some. I know a guy who had an EV1. But the thing is, despite pulling down a big income, he doesn't have a lot of money. He's spent it all on stuff that tickled his fancy. That's not an awful thing, if he wants to enjoy his money that's fine. But I think that connecting rich to wanting to take a flyer on things like a Tesla isn't all that strong a link. As to me, I guess I'm probably too practical. If there were only one way to get into a good EV and that was to blow $80K on a Tesla, I'd do it. But luckily for me there are other options.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          Giza Plateau: Dan, is that you?
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          I'm afraid it wont be fast Rotation. You're right there is huge potential for improvement but idiots are in charge. Car makers take 4 years from commitment to product and I see no even remotely intelligent commitment happening. The retards are talking hydrogen fuel cells now, that's how aimless they are. Realistically, the only thing we can hope for in finite time is a few other semi crappy models and that the price will become slightly more reasonable. Approaching 20k for cheapest EV. The gargantuan incompetence that rules the day tells me you can kiss the next 10 years goodbye. The chubby Tesla is as good as it gets for quite a while and they will in all likelihood go bankrupt soon so even that will be an orphan car. I'd say it's more likely that we will have UFO disclosure than good EVs. Unless a hero comes along.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          Early adopters are: a.) Rich enough to spend the money without worry. b.) Inspired enough to risk a lot of their wealth on a vision of the future. c.) Love the car enough to buy it on the specs. Simplistic, I know. But it does describe the situation pretty well. If you're a practical person, it's still a little early to jump in. Tesla's car is cool enough to get a boost from a. and c. Usually early adopters are limited to b.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          Actionable Mango: Tesla's sales are fine. I don't need to help them out. And as I said, I will be getting a lesser car. Sales of lesser EVs will drive DC charging and wireless charging standards at least as much as Tesla's "go it alone" strategy will.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          I'm in a similar boat. If I really want I could probably afford to buy one right now. I'm not willing to take that big a risk to my finances. I will wait and plan to buy in 2015 or 2016. That is the more practical choice for me. I'll either get the Model S or hopefully the Gen III which will fit my needs even better.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          And as I alluded to, if Tesla is hurt by people trying to wait, they could just start offering leases. It's weird to blame me for EVs adoption/progression rates.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          I think the market is too protean to drop $90K on that car right now. Even though I can afford it. There will be a DC charging standard. There will be a wireless charging standard. There will be basic advances in the tech and more competition. I just feel like the cars will get so much better so fast that it doesn't make sense to buy one of these. And Tesla doesn't lease. So I'm forced to look elsewhere, get a lesser car, but spend less on it too.
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          None of those things will come to pass in the future without early adopters now.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am VERY curious as to what is going to happen to Tesla once they finish all the back orders. Will they have enough demand to start and keep making a profit? I don't know!
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        There is absolutely no evidence of orders slowing down. If anything they are showing strong signs of increasing with European orders recently spiking. As more and more cars get on the road and people are seeing them and talking about them Tesla is barely keeping even with new orders. I don't see the demand slowing for years and just like every other car maker there will be new models coming along to keep demand high.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendal, don't confuse him with facts!
          Rob J
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          "Tesla is barely keeping even with new orders." Considering they only just recently started delivering the mid range model and are therefore still filling back orders, I don't see how that is relevant. Either way, you have absolutely not evidence to actually show that there will be demand for 20k cars in 2013 so rather than just spout off garbage about your gut feelings, save the energy for some constructive posts.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Rob J. What are you talking about? If you want evidence, ask for evidence. Don't act like a jerk. Sorry I didn't post the evidence in this post but if you follow all the Tesla articles I am constantly posting data I have gathered. Evidence of daily reservations: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/5747-Model-S-Reservation-Tally/page216 Look midway down the page for a daily reservation chart. Total reservations: Net Total: 21,864 - February 5, 2013 Includes USA, Canada, Europe, UK, Hong Kong, and Australia Full Production = 20K cars a year, 400 a week, or 80 cars per day. So, if they are at full production, and all evidence says they are, then if they are taking in 60 reservations per day they are equalling out with production. If Tesla is creating new cars in sequence with their VINS, and all evidence says that they are, then the customer posting here: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/5747-Model-S-Reservation-Tally/page226 says that he got VIN #4802 two days ago. It's really easy to track sales by simply waiting for someone to post their reservation number and the date they placed it. Simple math tells you how many reservations have been taken in between the various days. That's how you get a daily reservation rate. There is almost no guesswork happening in that process. Since I take the time to gather that information, that's how I can make a very informed guess. There was a slow down for the month of January to 40-ish reservations in the US. For February they are going back up again and Europe reservations are going gangbusters at 20+ per day. Even going low that is 60+ reservations per day and they are building 400 cars per week. That's why I made the statement that Tesla is barely keeping even with new orders. Do you have any evidence to the contrary? If so, prove it. And please be more civil in the future. I just disagreed with you and made a contrary point. I didn't call you a name or say your point was unjustified.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        If they have it timed correctly, I think the minute they finally reach the end of the Model S back orders, they will have the Model X ready for production, and will be so busy filling Model X backlog of pre-orders that whatever happens with the Model S won't really impact their bottom line. Hopefully when they are done with Model X pre-orders, they will have the 3rd gen cheaper model ready, and/or the next generation Roadster ready for sale and will have pre-orders of these cars to chew through for a while. If the timing works out even halfway well, the Model S and Model X will bridge Tesla over into their ultimate goal of making more mass market suitable model. You have to go back to Tesla's original business plan way back in the mid-2000's to see how this is all playing out as planned. The Roadster was never the final goal. The Model S and Model X were never the final goal. Producing the 3rd gen car has always been the real goal, with these other models the means towards that goal. Tesla will do just fine with Model S sales numbers on the same level as BMW 7-Series sales, or Audi 8 model sales once they have more models available for sale.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          Interesting. raktmn, you just got me thinking that perhaps the vagueness with the X schedule is deliberate. There's no point in Tesla working hard to get the X out quickly if they're still working on the Model S backlog. If, however, they do actually catch up to the Model S backlog (unlikely, I think, given the current rate of reservations!) then they can focus on trying to sell the X, to fill up what would otherwise be slack factory time. I think the mass market model may have to wait some time for costs to decrease. But there's another variation which I think can produce a bump in sales: once the X is well-established, introduce AWD to the Model S. I bet that would bump up Model S sales.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob J
        You guys don't get it. Every Model S out there will sell 10 more. Telsa will have a waiting list for years until they get production up to the 6,000 / week the plant can build. Even then, by that time the Model X, new low cost and high-end supercar will have their own long, long waiting lists.
      Ricky St. Vincent
      • 2 Years Ago
      ive owned stock since around $28 a share and im not planning on selling till atleast their third generation, $30k vehicle which ill use my stock profits to purchase it with.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I certainly hope it was! I kinda doubt it was but I hope so.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        George Blankenship was inundated by reporters with questions about Q4 at Detroit and let slip that they exceeded their low number but didn't beat their high number. It was said unofficially. I'm going to guess that it will be 2800-ish. We'll find out on February 11th officially. The stock market price has really shot up ($39.17 today) in the last week and a half.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          What low number?
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Their last one. 2500 to 3000 cars for the fourth quarter. The low on that would be 2500.
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