Brand appeal

The results of a new survey commissioned by an incumbent automaker and published by Forbes on the condition that the firm remains anonymous have shown that the Tesla Model 3 may not have the target audience that was originally anticipated. So while it may be named and styled to compete directly with the BMW 3 Series, it is twice as likely to appeal to people who own a Toyota rather than a compact executive from the German manufacturer.

The survey focuses on those who have already placed a pre-order for the Model 3, putting down almost £1000 of their own cash to secure their order. And analysts have a few clues about why Tesla may end up poaching Toyota owners rather than fans of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

The main reason is that of course the eco-friendly, all-electric angle offered by the Model 3 and all of Tesla’s vehicles to date is one which resonates with an audience that has come to know and love the Toyota Prius. This hybrid paved the way for the current trend for greener motoring which Tesla has picked up and used as its own launchpad.

Furthermore it is the cult-like following that Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and chief exec, has fostered which also appeals to this type of consumer. It is thanks to his public status, equivalent to that of Steve Jobs at Apple during the iPhone launch 10 years ago, that a wider audience is interested in investing in Tesla’s vision of the future. And the Model 3 makes this an attainable reality, rather than one limited in availability to the very wealthy.

Of course a good way to experience what this type of car has to offer without going all-in on a purchase is to take advantage of Tesla hire in London and explore the capital in a cutting edge EV, free from long term commitment.

Potential problems

One issue that observers have noted with the appeal that the Model 3 is generating amongst current Toyota owners, is that customers of this Japanese firm are notoriously demanding and Tesla might find it costly to satisfy their needs in the long term. From post-sale care to servicing and other aspects of ownership, expectations will be sky high and if Tesla fails to meet them then it might struggle to maintain its reputation.

Of course Toyota itself has undergone some setbacks in the past couple of years, with scandals surrounding the reliability of its vehicles and other issues meaning that it is not quite perceived in the same unshakable light as was once the case.

This gives Tesla an opportunity with the Model 3, rather than a challenge. And since those who are casually interested in owning an EV can use Tesla hire in London to get some first hand experience without being in a high pressure sales situation, it may be easier to capitalise on this than might seem to be the case.