Half a decade of the Tesla Inc. (”NASDAQ”:”TSLA”) Model S has only seen the car improve. It is probably the most iconic and pivotal electric vehicle to get on the road. It is true the new Model 3 stands to eclipse this legend of a car with its orders. However, the significance of the Model S sedan will not be forgotten.
The flagship Model S was the first practical Tesla released by Elon Musk and his auto business. It came out the same year the company began establishing its worldwide public supercharger. That year was 2012, barely 4 years after the automaker came close to bankruptcy.
Tesla Inc. was still among the first U.S. car makers to open up shop in decades back then. The market proved brutal. The auto scene has very little tolerance for newcomers. There was even less trust for electric-powered cars, too.
That failed to slow down the all-electric driven Model S. It scored tons of attention the moment it reached the public and was named “Car of the Year” by Motor Trends a year later. It was a staggering home run for Tesla. Quick and early recognition like that was something new car companies can only dream of achieving.
It proved to be a hit among America’s wealthy experimental types. Tesla needed two things for their 2012 release. First, it needed to raking in about $100,000 per average sale. This it did splendidly as more of the country’s forward-thinking Silicon Valley crowd warmed up to it. Two, the Model S had a chip on shoulder. It had to prove to the world that it could not only match the performance capabilities of internal combustion engine cars, but outdo them in many other aspects, too.
The latter took some time. However, the Tesla sedan eventually secured the reputation it wanted. Since its release, it was instilled with several improvements. Tesla Inc. gave it better range per full charge, all wheel drive and self-driving capabilities. It even beat the 3 second acceleration mark. With Ludicrous Mode engaged, the Model S can reach speeds of 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.
In the present day, the car ranks as the best sedan in its class. It is luxurious, stylish, far ahead of any rival technologically, and can always ahead thanks to its over the air updates. Hands down, the car was revolutionary. It also put Tesla, as well as electric cars in general, a whole lot of recognition.
Now, the Tesla Inc. (”NASDAQ”:”TSLA”) Model S is about to take a back seat. As it turns out, selling cars to wealthy experimental types is slow business. Collectively, all of Tesla’s vehicles are yet to breach 300,000 sales. The Model 3 sedan, promising an entry price of $35,000, secured nearly half a million reservation in 18 months.
Model 3 renders Model S an unnecessary buy
The hype of the new Model 3 sedan means the Model S is falling in relevance. That means trouble for Tesla, which would still very much like to make $100,000 per average sale. But people are just piling up behind the Model 3, even Model S owners. And who can blame them?
Buyers can secure a compact, stylish and very capable niche car for as little as $35,000. An added $9,000 get buyers a version that can go 310 miles on a full charge. The entry level Model S doesn’t come close to that yet goes for nearly double the price. Indeed, the cheapest, new Model S people can buy costs about $72,000. That gets you a great looking car, but one that can only go 249 miles on a full charge.
The newest car from the Elon Musk business promises to chow down on Model S sales. $44,000 gives buyers a spanking new Tesla EV that is even more capable than the entry flagship. Come upgrade time, any owner of a Model S will consider a Model 3. This won’t be for the $35,000 price tag, but for all the add-ons, like autopilot and better battery power, that can be added to the car and still get them an EV about the same cost as an entry Model S, if not less.
Tesla in trouble?
For Tesla Inc. this mean uh-oh. CEO Musk admits the company would like to push 100,000 yearly sales of its high-end cars collectively. That is an average $100,000 per 100,000 sales in danger of slipping in favor of a $44,000 car, less than half the price Tesla would want.
Tesla Inc. (”NASDAQ”:”TSLA”) effectively makes a car which renders the Model S an unnecessary purchase. That said, the high-end electric car did its job of pulling in people’s attention. The hope now is that sheer sales volumes of the Model 3 will make up for dwindling Model S sales.