Tesla has strong brand loyalty, but Rivian and Lucid are beginning to lure some Tesla owners away, according to a new study from S&P Global Mobility.
Most Tesla owners stay with the brand, the study found. A whopping 72.8% of Model 3 owners replace their cars with another Tesla, as do 59.9% of Model S owners. Among Model S owners that don't stay with Tesla, though, the Lucid Air was the most popular replacement, at 3.4%, followed by the Rivian R1T (1.8%), Mercedes-Benz EQS (1.6%), and Rivian R1S (1.2%).
The R1T pickup was also the most popular non-Tesla replacement for Model 3 and Model Y owners, with 1.3% and 2.1%, respectively, making the switch to Rivian.
2023 Lucid Air Pure
For context, the most popular replacement overall for a Model 3 was a Model Y, at 40.3%, while 26.1% of existing Model 3 owners ended up with another one of the sedans. In addition to owners who stuck with the Model S, 11.7% switched to the Model X and 7.9% stepped down to the Model 3. But the results indicate Rivian and Lucid are making inroads with current Tesla customers.
Tesla loyalty has been strong pretty much from the start, so other automakers have had plenty of time to learn from it. Back in 2015, 89% of owners surveyed said they would still buy another Tesla, even without the federal EV tax credit.
2023 Rivian R1T
Although a lot of owners settle on another Tesla, J.D. Power found that just 4% of owners said that they would only consider Tesla in looking for a new vehicle. So the issue may instead be a lack of rivals. While 70.5% of Model Y owners acquire another EV, S&P found that many end up cross-shopping internal-combustion SUVs rather than making the leap to the more expensive Model S and Model X.
On the flip side, a shocking 74% of buyers of the Model Y have come from outside the brand, a previous S&P study found. Tesla remains at about a 60% share of the U.S. EV market.
As Consumer Reports bluntly summed, backed with a data-informed paper last year, brands not meeting EV demand will lose market share.