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Tesla outsells Porsche, Buick, Lincoln, others in California (+video)

Tesla outsells Porsche and other luxury models in June with the Model S. Even on a year-to-date basis, Tesla outsells Porsche, Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover.

By Bengt HalvorsonGuest blogger / August 27, 2013

Tesla CEO Elon Musk waves during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June. A new report from the California New Car Dealers Association says Tesla outsells Porsche, Lincoln, and other more-established car brands in California.

Paul Sakuma/AP/File

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Yes, it's shocking. California automaker Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is outselling a number of very well established vehicle brands in its home state—with only one model: the all-electric Model S.

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In June, Tesla outsold (on the basis of registrations) Buick, Lincoln, Porsche, Volvo, and Cadillac—and far outsold Jaguar and Land Rover combined. And the long-established, full-line luxury brand Infiniti only posted just 51 more registrations in the state than Tesla. LEARN MORE: Tesla Model S: So Safe, It Broke NHTSA's Testing Equipment

This wasn't just a monthly sales blip, either. Even on a year-to-date basis, through June, Tesla has sold more vehicles in California than Land Rover, Jaguar, Lincoln, Volvo, or Porsche.

The comparisons [via Slate] are based on a recent report from the California New Car Dealers Association, using data sourced from Polk.

The report shows that Tesla's 4,714 registrations in California year-to-date—again through June—altogether give it a 0.6-percent market share in that state. ALSO SEE: Tesla Model S Isn't A Luxury Car, So Stop Comparing It To Them

Also beat Chrysler, Fiat, and Mitsubishi

Admittedly, all of the brands mentioned so far are also premium or luxury brands. So here's where it gets especially interesting: Tesla also far exceeded the June registrations of Chrysler, Fiat, and Mitsubishi separately. Chrysler in particular is considered a full-line brand, and the California figures are all the more surprising considering that they include fleet registrations (for rental-car agencies, for example).

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans for Tesla to be a mainstream brand (even if the Model S is seen in the market by many as a luxury model), not one that's competing head-on with luxury and niche makers. To that end, there's evidence here that the company is making great progress in its home state, if nowhere else quite yet.

According to a forecast from the same association, about 1.75 million new vehicles will be sold this year in California—which could calculate to more than 10,000 Tesla Model S sales in that state alone, given that current share. Nearly half of Teslas sold so far have been in California. DON'T MISS: NHTSA Rebukes Tesla Over Non-Existent "5.4-Star" Safety Rating

Tesla earlier this week was in the news cycle for its disclosure of the Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars; the company had made the claim that the Model S had the best safety rating of any car ever tested. Later the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a rare corrective statement essentially slapping Tesla's wrist for the disclosure.

So far just a threat in CA... but how long before others catch on?

No doubt, automakers have taken notice of the automaker. GM CEO Dan Akerson recently admitted that Tesla is a threat; and a recent study highlighted that Model S aren't entirely green-motivated—they buy because of a wide range of motivations, including early technology adoption. And buyers previously drove a wide range of models—everything from theToyota Prius to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Honda Odyssey.

So far Tesla isn't making nearly as much impact in other states as it is in California. When will Tesla break into the market to this degree elsewhere, and do you think Tesla is snapping up market share from luxury brands? Let us know what you think in your comments below.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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