Audi & BMW Beaten By Tesla. Will The Model S Take The No.1 Spot?

Tesla Motors, an American automotive company, sells electric cars, battery products and electric vehicle powertrain components. A few years ago, it would've been impossible to believe-Tesla-would be among the top car manufacturers in the European countries.

The European car market is established with luxury car manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW and Audi, and their models like the Audi 8, BMW 7 series, and the Mercedes S-class are the most sought after luxury car models. However, this is soon changing, and these models are facing risk from the Tesla Model S (an all-electric car).

Europe's leading Automotive Newsletter, Automotive Industry Data (AID), claims, during the first nine months of 2015, the Tesla Model S has sold more than 10,600 of its Model S sedans. Audi sold 4,700 units of the A8; BMW sold 2,650 units of the 7 Series, and Mercedes sold only 800 more units of its S-class than the Tesla Model S while the difference last year was 6,200 units.

The primary reason for Tesla to outperform and beat the German brands on their turf is taxes. The European market imposes 100 percent taxes on internal combustion engines (petrol and diesel). Tesla Model S being all-electric is tax-free; thus giving the Model S an enormous advantage over its competitors.

Tesla is currently pushing other manufacturers to come up with similar cars. At the recently concluded Frankfurt Motor Show-Audi, Volkswagen AG, and Porsche unveiled concept luxury all-electric cars. Industry sources claim, Mercedes-Benz is also working on an electric car.

The pricey head-turning Model S prices start at 68,000 Euro (Rs. 50 lakh). The Tesla Model S was first introduced in 2012 and is a full-sized plug-in electric five-door, all-wheel drive luxury car, which is equipped with a 70kWh or 85 kWh battery and returns a range of 426km.

Tesla's service and loyalty as per Consumer Reports* is rated as the best in the world. However, recent reports from Consumer Reports stops recommending the Tesla, as a series of problems have been raised by owners like the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, giant iPad-like center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks. But, it is likely, Tesla will address these issues soon.

DriveSpark Thinks! It's time for manufacturers like Maruti, Tata, and Mahindra (currently sells the Reva e2o), to get more active on the electric platform. India are you ready for electric cars?

*Consumer Reports is an American magazine published monthly by Consumer Reports.

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Story first published: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 17:42 [IST]
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