Model S Conquest Sales Might Surprise You

Model S Conquest Sales Might Surprise You

If you had to guess which cars drivers are replacing with the Tesla Model S, it might be tempting to start with similarly priced products.

While many Model S owners probably come from Mercedes E-Class territory, CEO Elon Musk let selections from a privately-commissioned Polk report slip during a call with analysts on Wednesday. According to Musk, four percent came from owning a Volkswagen Jetta and three percent from a Honda Civic.

Roughly 10 percent of Model S owners came from a Toyota Prius. Until recently, the Toyota hybrid allowed Californians to drive alone in HOV lanes. The car’s potential for more efficient commuting and greener status both helped make it an unlikely favorite among well-to-do drivers in the union’s most populous state. Mix the nixed HOV status and potential for even fewer emissions from the Model S with its luxury status, and its easy to understand the transition.

Others are more surprising. Musk read data from a pie chart during the conference call and listed a handful of cars that included the Nissan Leaf, Toyota highlander, and BMW 5-Series; none of which he shared percentages for.

Then the list got a little more interesting when the Honda Odyssey minivan came up with four percent of Model S sales. Former Volvo XC 90 owners accounted for the same number.