The Patterns of Demand for $TSLA Model 3 vs. $TM

Don’t trade on this blog post as 4 billion years of evolution is against it and even God himself.

Look at $TM monthly sales patterns.

  1. I looked into seasonal patterns of $TM in the US market as a measuring stick.
  2. The data was for every month in 3 years, 2016-2018.
  3. The goal was to see how the numbers of cars sold in two first months of a quarter are to the third and final month multiplied by 2. I called this ratio the “Sales Effort”
  4. I created a measure of demand which I called “Organic Demand”; the sum of the first two months of a quarter.  If the “Sale Effort” is one or near then we have perfect “Organic Demand”, otherwise companies need to incentivize or push for sales.
  5. I can see seasonal patterns; “Organic Demand” in Q1 is low and in Q3 high.
  6. “Sales Effort” reverse pattern; Q3 low and Q1 high.


TOYOTA monthly sales Q1 2016 to Q4 2018

Data points to the following pattern.

  1. “Organic Demand” steady, seasonal small change, a top average of 3 years (Q3) = 435k, 129% of low Q1.
  2. “Sales Effort” steady, seasonal small changes, average Q1 (high) = 337k, 130% of low Q3.


$TSLA Sales Pattern after Starting from Q1 2019.

Q4 2018 was the last quarter where $TSLA was fulfilling preorders (production constrained). Since Q1 2019 $TSLA has been demand constrained or assumed to be since the number of sold cars in the US per quarter reached a peak in Q4 2018.  The delivery lead time might serve as a good indication of that assumption.  When comparing the patterns of $TSLA and $TM we have to keep in mind that $TM has a network of dealers that smooth out the variations in demand and production. I hope that the statistics capture the final demand with some reasonable fidelity so that we can venture to make somewhat valid comparisons and conclusions of the current state of $TSLA demand.

In this plot, I encluded Q4 2018 results and software applied trend line polynomial 3 degrees. The trendlines capture the periodic character of limited data, but at the end of the plot incorrectly anticipate a severe decline of values plotted. Also, the Q1 2020 is just a copy of Q1 2019 data.

$TSLA SALES the US Model 3 from Q4 2018 to Q1 (estimated) 2020

Our attention should be directed at Q1 2019 to Q4 2019. In general, Q1 is seasonally a poor quarter, Q3 is the best.  This pattern is maintained here (validation?). “Organic Demand” for Q3 is 203% of Q1. This was 130% for $TM. “Sale Effort” in Q3 is the lowest 93% of Q1 but in Q4 it becomes to be 270% of Q1.  It seems $TSLA starts with organic demand and keeps selling Models M3 with the same “Sales Effort” it had in Q4 2018 when it had been delivering to preorder holders (production constrained) then in Q4 2019 the “Organic Demand” deteriorates (-20%) and the quarter numbers are made up in the 3rd month which presupposes incentives or aggressive marketing.  For $TM this drop would be within the bonds of full seasonal change.

Is the Model 3 demand declining as this would suggest? The introduction of Model Y which is basically just Model 3 Hatchback (The year 2020 model?) might be a better clue.


Since there will be no more monthly data in the US that allows insight into the guts of demand or possible extent of “Sales Effort” companies put into “making” quarters let’s do the EU tomorrow!

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