A new study claims that Tesla has 29% fewer female owners compared to the average luxury buyer, 10% fewer than the electric vehicle buyer and at least 14% fewer than competitive performance vehicles. Nonetheless, Tesla buyers express a “Love” for their Overall Vehicle Experience at a 20% higher rate than the average electric vehicle owner does. (Maybe this is new generation of sensitive males in touch with and able to express their emotions? Well, about cars anyway.) The data come from a Strategic Vision New Vehicle Experience Study, which the consultancy claims is using a “rapidly growing sample” of Tesla buyers.
As with all things associated with Tesla, AutoInformed remains skeptical about a company that has never showed a profit since its inception except in Q1 of 2013. For the first six months of this year, Tesla lost $1,916 per car based on a net loss of $19.254 million from sales of 10,000 Model S and a few Roadster EVs, which was -$0.17 a share. As of July 31, 2013, there were 121,449,647 shares outstanding. With Tesla stock trading in the $190 range for a book value of $5 a share, buyer beware, seller rejoice.
Strategic vision contends that Tesla owners’ emphasis on “Performance-Electric” makes them different from other EV buyers. While most EV owners focus on their vehicle’s Performance and Environmental Friendliness/Fuel Economy, Tesla owners rank Performance — particularly “Handling and Cornering” — as their top priority at 90%. By comparison, Fuel Economy is the top priority for Volt, Leaf and Prius Plug-In owners (97%, 94% and 98%, respectively). AutoInformed notes that a similar performance approach to selling hybrids has been employed unsuccessfully by Honda Motor, and it has hardly made a dent in Toyota’s domination of hybrid sales both in the U.S. and globally.
There is also a provocative observation in the report. Most electric vehicle owners have one thing in common – the consideration of the Chevrolet Volt while shopping. Tesla right now has no real direct competitors, but the Cadillac ELR is coming to market this fall. ELR is based on the Volt, and GM is far better capitalized, with many more Cadillac dealers, and broad experience in marketing, selling and servicing vehicles.
The sleekly styled Cadillac ELR 2+2 coupe is well equipped with a leather-trimmed interior that blends chrome and wood accents, as well as a suede-like headliner, a steering wheel trimmed in leather. Carbon fiber trim is also available. Unique features, including a Sport-driving mode, which combined with heavy 20-inch wheels and 245/40R20 all-season tires are said to deliver responsive and precise performance. Cadillac’s continuously variable real-time damping system – a derivative of the Corvette’s – with and driver-selectable modes is also standard. (AutoInformed predicts Tesla’s Q3 results will decline from a Q2 net loss of -$30,502,000 or -$0.26 per share) (GM Cuts 2014 Chevrolet Volt Price to $34,995, GM Triples Size of EV Battery Lab in Michigan, Cadillac ELR Hybrid Faces Same Tough Market as Chevy Volt, 2012 Record Year for U.S. Hybrid Sales, But EVs Remain Insignificant )
Strategic vision data shows that Tesla owners have double the average household income of other EV owners ($293,200). As a result, they are more likely to be adding a Tesla to their household fleet (51%) rather than replacing a vehicle with its purchase. Compared to the 16% average rate of vehicle disposal within the luxury market, Tesla vehicles are adding to households at three times the typical rate. When new Tesla buyers dispose of a vehicle, they are often coming from a Toyota Prius, Lexus SC, BMW M3, BMW 5-Series or a Mercedes E350.