Tesla Model 3. A good step ahead of the competition – L’argus PRO

In 2021, Tesla’s sales jumped 87% worldwide to reach 936,172 registrations, including 26,446 in France (+ 258.7%), which allowed it to experience its first profitable year – taking into account the cumulative losses since 2003 – with a profit of $5.5 billion. With a market share of 21%, it is now the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars, far ahead of the Chinese SAIC (609,730 units, 13% of the market) and the German Volkswagen group (451,131 units, 10%).

Also, the American manufacturer led by Elon Musk does not intend to stop its incredible rise anytime soon, since it displays its ambitious desire to increase its car deliveries by 50% each year. Tesla relies for this on the opening of two new factories in 2022, in Berlin (Germany) and in Texas (United States). In this context, Europe and France are not to be outdone, while the Model 3 appears to be the manufacturer’s locomotive. Of the 26,446 Teslas sold in France last year, the Model 3 constitutes the overwhelming majority (94.2%) with 24,911 units (+ 284.6%).

TO READ. You’re here. Global sales almost doubled in 2021

Discreet evolutions and bonus effect

tesla model 3 white
Globally, Tesla holds 21% of the electric car market.

Tesla also benefited from several advantages last year with its Model 3, launched in early 2019 in Europe. In addition to the explosion in demand for electric models, it received some technical and stylistic changes in February 2021, including new rims, an automatic tailgate, and even double glazing. The manufacturer nevertheless refutes the term restyling because its vehicles “evolve very regularly” via “software and physical improvements”, which are “provided throughout the vehicle’s life cycle”.

But more than these discreet developments, there has certainly been an ecological bonus effect on sales of the Model 3 in France in 2021. Indeed, Tesla has gotten into the habit – which may seem confusing for motorists as well as for competing manufacturers – of regularly varying the prices of its cars, both up and down. After having started its career above 50,000 euros, the Model 3 thus found itself for several months under the fateful bar of 45,000 euros, which enabled it to claim the ecological bonus of 6,000 euros. Thousands of French customers can thus boast of having been able to buy a Tesla for the sum – certainly substantial, but not for an electric car – of around 39,000 euros last year.

TO READ. BMW i4 vs Tesla Model 3 test. The big match for electric sedans

No discount

tesla model 3 white
The Tesla Model 3 received several technical and stylistic evolutions in February 2021.

In this context of regular price fluctuation and while the manufacturer is locking down its communication to the extreme – French teams are prohibited from giving interviews to journalists, only big boss Elon Musk speaks in the media – we is difficult to calculate an average basket for the Model 3. Especially since no information filters on the sales mix according to the finishes, nor on the (few) options. Nevertheless, we bet that the bonus effect has encouraged customers to choose the entry-level version as a priority, i.e. an average basket that we estimate at around 45,000 euros in 2021. Note that Tesla’s commercial policy “does not provide any discount” and “the prices indicated on the configurators are the effective prices of the vehicles”.

On March 22, 2022, the Propulsion version is now displayed at 49,990 euros, while the Long Autonomy and Performance versions, equipped with a “Dual Motor” are sold at 58,990 and 62,990 euros. The Tesla Model 3 is therefore no longer eligible for the maximum bonus this year. The first two finishes are available in November 2022, compared to May 2022, the version at the highest price.

TO READ. Tesla, world champion of the electric car in 2021

Online sales

tesla model 3 white
Even if the manufacturer has 16 Tesla Centers in France, all sales are made online.

Moreover, not content with revolutionizing the automobile industry, the American manufacturer is also turning the distribution model upside down. “At Tesla, the buying experience is different from that of any other car dealership,” writes the builder to us. It certainly has 16 Tesla Centers in France, but “all our customers buy their vehicle online”, he continues. However, they can benefit from the assistance of a sales advisor, either by telephone or in store.

By the way, the American manufacturer practicing – like Dacia – a policy of fixed prices, he praises the absence of “ long and tedious negotiations” during the act of purchase. This makes the procedure faster, especially since the choice is limited in terms of finishes and optional equipment. “Ordering only takes a minute”, we are told.

TO READ. Test Tesla Model 3 (2022). Still a good deal?

A good head start

tesla model 3 white
For several months, the Model 3 found itself below 45,000 euros in France, which allowed customers to benefit from an ecological bonus of 6,000 euros.

“Data on shopping habits in Europe reveals that 4 p.m. is the time Tesla owners most frequently bought their car, with a very busy window between 3 and 6 p.m. also indicates Tesla. Tuesday is the most popular day, closely followed by Wednesday. » Whereas “Three quarters of future customers have placed an order from home”, these are particularly tech-savvy, since “just over a fifth” of French customers order via their smartphone or tablet. In some countries, such as the Netherlands and Germany, “more than half of the customers” ordering have not even tried the car beforehand at a Tesla branch.

Finally, it should be noted that customers are happy to carry out their free software updates remotely, when they are not buying a pack of additional options to improve the performance of their car, or to benefit from heated rear seats, as on the Model 3. Standard Plus autonomy. Electric cars, neat brand image, digitization of sales, remote updates… While many competing manufacturers have just announced heavy investments in these areas, Tesla definitely seems to have a good head start!

Tesla Model 3 sales channels
Individuals make up the overwhelming majority of Tesla Model 3 customers.

*Source: NGC-Data®

The first 12 months of the facelifted Tesla Model 3*

Total sales: 24,875 units

Monthly average: 2,073 units

Best month: June 2021 (5,001 units)

Sales target in 2022: +50%**

Number of units produced: 930,422 units in 2021***

Place of production: Shanghai (China)

stylistic and technical evolutions of February 2021

(**) Global annual growth target

(***) Model 3 and Model Y combined

Residual values ​​at 36 months* Ten years ahead in terms of electric vehicles and connectivity, Tesla took the historic builders by surprise.

Therefore, the rivals of the Model 3 can be counted on a few fingers of one hand. The main one remains the new BMW i4, which lives up to the American without dethroning it. The qualities of the Model 3, not to mention its network of superchargers, explain its very high residual values ​​for an electric vehicle. In comparison, that of a BMW i4 eDrive40 M Sport is 55.4%.

Standard Plus 61%

Long Autonomy Dual Motor 61%

Performance Dual Motor AWD 62.7%

* Electric: 36 months and 45,000 km

Source: Prevar / L’argus

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