Ignore The NY Times; Does Tesla Model S Own Silicon Valley Already?

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2013 Tesla Model S

2013 Tesla Model S

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Yes, there's a big imbroglio going on right now over an article in The New York Times, followed by some tweets (1, 2, and 3) from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk contradicting it.

We're ignoring that, for the moment.

Instead, we're bringing you an idea that made us chuckle.

That idea is that the Tesla Model S has already beaten the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class among buyers of $100,000 luxury sport sedan in one very important market.

That market is Silicon Valley.

It's where Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is headquartered, where Stanford University opened its doors in 1891, where much of this country's technological innovation since 1960 has arisen.

The source for this rather broad claim is a very, very unrepresentative survey done by electric-car advocate and analyst Anton Wahlman, who writes regularly for The Street.

His article essentially says that he sees at least a dozen Tesla Model S cars a day in the heart of Silicon Valley, but in "a month or two" of careful observation, he's seen exactly zero new S Classes or 7-Series.

Because our parent company, High Gear Media, is located there as well, we can confirm from first-hand experience that there are increasing numbers of Model Ses on the streets.

We have a few caveats, though.

There are also older S Class and 7-Series cars around, if not brand-new ones. But those full-size models have never been the big sedan sellers for Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Tesla opening second store in Silicon Valley as production ramps up

Tesla opening second store in Silicon Valley as production ramps up

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The higher-volume cars are the mid-size E Class and 5-Series cars, which start at about half the $100,000 price Wahlman uses for his "analysis".

We doubt he'll be able to make the same claim about the $60,000 and $70,000 versions of the Model S against the smaller German sedans.

Wahlman is careful to note that Silicon Valley has the right climate for plug-in electric cars, and an eager desire for the latest and newest in technology--including in its cars.

But there's a case to be made that as Silicon Valley goes, so goes (some of) the rest of the nation later on.

The Toyota Prius was popular in California long before it succeeded nationally and became Toyota's third-best selling car line.

What do you think: Is the Tesla Model S a viable competitor to German luxury sport sedans?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

Oh, and about that New York Times article? We'll have more on that too. Stay tuned.

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