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Tesla takes market share in swanky communities

The Model S is the most registered vehicle in 8 of the 25 wealthiest U.S. ZIP codes.

By Douglas Newcomb Nov 5, 2013 1:34PM

Tesla Model S. Image by Tesla.Forbes recently published its annual list of the most expensive ZIP codes in the country and, unsurprisingly, exclusive enclaves in California and the East Coast dominate the list.

And in more bad news for established luxury automakers watching upstart Tesla gobble up market share, an analysis by found that the Tesla Model S is the most registered vehicle in 8 of the 25 the wealthiest U.S. ZIP codes.

While those in the old-money East Coast communities still prefer a more staid Mercedes-Benz or a low-key Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Model S took the number-one spot in more top 25 ZIP codes than any other single vehicle model. And in the top two wealthiest communities — both in California’s Silicon Valley — the Model S has a double-digit market share.

Topping the Forbes list is Atherton and Los Altos Hills, California, where the median home price is $6,665,231 and $5,404,692, respectively. And where the Model S enjoys a 15.4 percent market share in Atherton and 11.9 percent in Los Altos Hills.

Number three on the list is the 10065 ZIP code that’s in New York City’s Upper East Side, with a median home price is $4,860,494. The most registered car title there is a tie between the Mercedes GL-Class and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Model S has only a 0.3 percent market share.

In number four Belvedere, California with a median home price of $4,807,885, the more modest Mercedes-Benz E Class is the most registered vehicle, but the Model S still has a 2.3 percent market share. In number five Sagaponack, New York, where the median home price is $4,790,769, the Jeep Wrangler is the wheels of choice for the well-heeled.

The only two ZIP codes outside of California and the New York area to make it onto the Forbes top 25 are Aspen, Colorado, and Coral Gables, Florida, at numbers 11 and 12, respectively. The community of rich Floridians favor the BMW 3-Series, while those in Aspen prefer the Ford F-Series pickup. Interestingly, in number 19 Walter Mills, New York, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup is the most popular.

While Tesla’s market dominance is still mostly confined to California, Edmunds pointed out that trends and technology often start on the West Coast and then migrate eastward across the country. It also noted that as Tesla increases its number of models and price points, the company could see demand increase in wealthy communities, and that most luxury car brands sell the largest volumes in entry-level segments.

Forbes Top Wealthiest ZIP Codes by registered cars. Image by[Sources:]

Nov 6, 2013 7:02PM
It's interesting to see BMW, Chrysler Jeep, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla all made multiple entries as the preferred vehicles in America's wealthiest areas. Daimler would have covered more than 50% of the 25 wealthiest communities had it retained ownership of Chrysler.
Nov 18, 2013 10:47PM
So they're using the Tesla name and design why can't they make it generate its owe power.....
Nov 17, 2013 9:15PM
Most of the idiots hammering the Tesla for catching fire obviously aren't reading the whole story. They are as blind as obama is dumb. The three Tesla fires were caused by none other than pure and simple accidents where the driver ran into something and pierced the battery compartment. I'm quite sure they didn't spontaneously combust nor did they catch fire like several thousand (yes, thousand) Fords, Chevy, and Chryslers, and foreign cars, due to faulty wiring or ill-placed gas tanks. Wait...Tesla DOESN'T HAVE A GAS TANK. It was driver error causing the accident. UM...that was DRIVER ERROR. All 3 drivers admitted, during a police report, that they ran into something (like a wall, cement curbing with metal sign posts, and a metal flange) and ruptured the batteries. One driver admitted that he was drunk when he accidently hit a wall that he didn't see. DUH!!!  When a battery is hot and it is pierced by something, all the electrolytic liquid (for the lack of a better word) drains from it, the temperature climbs, and it catches fire, as does anything when it gets hot enough. The liquid not only helps to give it power but also acts as a coolant of sorts to keep the temp down just to keep it FROM catching fire. It is a sealed system unless it is acted upon by an external force, like a wall, or a sign post, or a metal flange. If I had the money I would order one tomorrow and pay for it in cash. I truly believe that the Tesla is better than ANY of the other vehicles on the road today.
Nov 17, 2013 12:54PM
Not long before we all drive Teslas - it's a no-brainer, all you Luddites.
Nov 17, 2013 2:38PM
The Tesla is the most efficient car on the road and one of the most powerful.
Nov 17, 2013 5:12AM
All of the Tesla Cars are in California. In areas the weather stays mild.
Nov 22, 2013 8:47AM
How many California wifdfires have been attributed to the Tesla?
Nov 17, 2013 10:45AM
Okay then...we'll bring marshmallows and come right on over to watch them burn.
Nov 17, 2013 5:56PM
when you buy a tesla, does the full coverage insurance include fire damage?
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