Analysts say Tesla's strong presence in German automakers' home turf will increase pressure for the established players to begin delivering EVs.
Delivery estimates from analyst firm JATO Dynamics suggest Model S sales jumped by 30 percent to more than 16,000 units last year. The BMW 7 Series dropped by 13 percent to 11,735 units, while the Mercedes-Benz S-Class rose by single digits to 13,359 units.
"This is an alarm for the traditional automakers such as Mercedes," says JATO analyst Felipe Munoz, as quoted by Automotive News Europe. "It says a smaller but smarter brand such as Tesla can beat them at home."
To be fair, the numbers aren't quite apples-to-apples since Tesla only offers a single sedan model and all three German automakers easily beat the California-based newcomer in overall sedan sales. Tesla also presumably falls short of the established flagships in Germany.
In any case, all three German players have committed to launching all-electric models in the coming years. The Porsche Mission E and Volkswagen Vizzion are expected to be direct rivals to the Model S, while several other high-riding models will take on the Model X.