Tesla is Stealing Toyota’s Customers with the Model 3: The End of the Road for the Prius?
Launched less than two years ago, Tesla’s Model 3 is already proving a major thorn 81-year old automotive giant Toyota.
According to Electrek, Tesla is responsible for about 50% of the defection rate that Toyota is experiencing in North America. Among the top five cars that buyers of the Model 3 were trading in last year, Toyota Prius was leading.
Per WardsAuto, U.S. sales of the Prius (excluding the subcompact Prius C) declined by 17.7% last year to 79,171 units. At the height of its popularity, over 150,000 units of the Prius used to be sold in the U.S. This compares with slightly over 114,000 Model 3s that Tesla sold in the U.S. last year. The year prior, Tesla had sold 1,000 Model 3s in the world’s second-largest car market.
Tesla has a Formidable Lead in the EV market
Karl Brauer, an analyst at automotive research and vehicle valuation firm Kelley Blue Book, told CNBC earlier this month that the electric vehicle market was now Tesla’s to lose:
Whether it is just sales numbers, whether it is image and awareness and appeal, I think Tesla owns that [the electric vehicle market] now. I think there are plenty of people who wonder if Toyota could or should be further along in the pure electric field.
While the two vehicles are supposed to be environmentally friendly, they are starkly different. The Model 3 is pure electric while the Prius is a hybrid. For a long time, Toyota had bet is future on hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars and has yet to release a pure electric vehicle.