Researchers and analysts seem to love to try and understand what makes Tesla Motors drivers tick. Whether it’s determining they love pot and kinky sex or noting those behind the wheel have an interest that’s more performance oriented versus sustainability, valuable cycles are burned poking at the Tesla owners bubble. Now comes word, according to research outfit Edmunds, “that in some of the country’s richest communities, the Model S sells better than any other car on the market.”
Edmunds, analyzing new car registration data from Polk, found the Model S to be the top selling car in eight of America’s 25 most posh zip codes. Not surprisingly, all are in California, which is were Tesla is headquartered. Leading this Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous crowd is Atherton, Calif., sitting pretty much adjacent to the electric vehicle manufacturer’s home in Palo Alto, Calif. In a region where the median home price if over $6.6 million, the Model S accounts for 15.4 percent of all new car registrations within its borders.
As much as it is great to appeal to the upper crust of society with a nice product, if Tesla hopes to win greater market appeal, it will need to produce a lower cost vehicle. It does plan to likely do so in the next five years with an offering for under $40,000. It will also have to break out of its California orbit in greater national sales volume to remain relevant, especially as other EVs come to market. Edmunds found that Tesla’s current
market share exceeds 1.0 percent in only one of the non-California zip codes ranked in the top 25 by Forbes (#19 Water Mill, NY with 1.2% of all new car registrations in 2013, through August). The Model S national market share sits at just 0.1 percent.
“It’s a classic pattern for any retail product, including cars: the wealthy and influential buyers set a trend, and the mainstream aspires to follow,” said Edmunds sr. analyst Jessica Caldwell in a statement. “As Tesla increases the number of models and improves its price points, it could find itself in demand by more than just those in these wealthy enclaves. After all, luxury car companies typically find the most volume in their entry-level vehicles.”