The Prius has been the long-standing darling of the eco-conscious car crowd. But that’s changing in a hurry with the Tesla Model 3.
First some background. Let’s start with Elon Musk speaking during this past week’s second-quarter 2018 earnings conference call.
“The more Model 3s we deliver to the field, it’s actually causing viral growth of our sales. So, if we deliver a Model 3 to somebody [and] they love it, they tell all of their friends…really our customers are our primary sales force…that’s the thing that fundamentally drives our sales.”
–Elon Musk, August 2, 2018 Tesla earnings conference call
Then later in the conference call Robin Ren, VP Worldwide Sales at Tesla, cited the Prius as the first among a list of five cars that Model 3 buyers are trading in.
“So, we looked at what people who are buying Model 3 cars in the United States, what cars they are trading in. What we found is through this year, from January to July, the top five non-Tesla cars people are trading in to get into a Model 3. They are Toyota Prius, BMW 3 Series, Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Nissan Leaf.”
–Robin Ren, VP Worldwide Sales at Tesla, August 2, 2018 Tesla earnings conference call
Many — if not most — of those are likely older traditional Prius hybrids and not the newer plug-in hybrid Prius Prime. The former, which Toyota began producing in 1997, has been the top-selling car for eco-conscious buyers for almost two decades.
Read more: Forbes