In the third quarter, 12% of luxury car shoppers considered a Tesla
product. That’s down three percentage points from the second quarter — the biggest drop in consideration among luxury brands.
led all makes as the brand more shoppers consider.
Kelley Blue Book’s quarterly Brand Watch Report is a consumer perception survey that also weaves in shopping behavior to determine how a brand or model stacks up with its segment competitors on a dozen factors key to a consumer’s buying decision.
Drop may have limited impact
Tesla’s drop may not mean much in the short term. Its shoppers behave differently than buyers of other cars. Many traditional luxury car shoppers research multiple brands before buying, while many Tesla buyers only ever look at a Tesla.
The company rose to become America’s best-selling luxury automaker without ever topping the Brand Watch survey. But its slip to sixth place could also be a sign that increasing competition from other automakers is eroding its edge in the electric car market.
CEO Elon Musk’s controversial $44 billion acquisition of Twitter and provocative political comments may also have contributed to Tesla’s drop.
Related: The brands and models car shoppers want most—despite inventory levels
BMW took home the title comfortably, with 22% of luxury car shoppers considering a BMW product. Lexus and Cadillac tied for second at 17%. Fifteen percent of shoppers considered an Audi, while Mercedes rounded out the top five at 14%.
The 10 most-considered brands
Percentage of Shoppers Who Considered It
Two Tesla models dropped out of top 10
Shopping consideration for the Model 3 sedan declined by 10% from the second quarter. The newest Tesla, the Model Y, fell off the Top 10 most-shopped luxury list, a first in two years, along with Tesla’s oldest vehicle, the Model S.
Also see: Tesla finds a loophole in states where dealerships are forbidden: Tribal lands
Despite some softening in consideration, the Cadillac Escalade remained the No. 1 most-shopped luxury vehicle for the third straight quarter.
Indeed, shopping for luxury SUVs dominated again, with 67% of luxury vehicle shoppers considering an SUV. Six SUVs dominated the Top 10 most-shopped luxury vehicles.
The 10 most-considered models
Tesla Model 3
BMW 3 Series
BMW 5 Series
Affordability, fuel efficiency growing more important
The survey also asks buyers about the factors that drove their decision. The top three factors — Durability/Reliability, Safety, and Driving Comfort — all remained unchanged from last quarter. However, both Driving Performance and Affordability grew more important to shoppers in the third quarter.
Check out: The BMW XM: Powerful performance, divisive looks
Fuel Efficiency narrowly missed the top five factors — a first in the luxury category – last quarter.
Considerations most important to new car shoppers
This story originally ran on KBB.com.