Driving Tesla Demand in Q4? Elon Turns to Google
After Years of Avoiding Paid Advertising, Tesla is Turning to Google for New Customers in Q4
Steve Birkett is an electric vehicle advocate based in Greater Boston, Massachusetts. He is a content creator and marketing professional who contributes written and recorded pieces to a wide range of media outlets. His analysis has been featured in Find The Best Car Price, WWLP TV, and Torque News, among others. He has also had video content featured on Inside EVs. Birkett was an EV Guide for Plug in America events in Massachusetts (Drive Electric Cambridge and Drive Electric Lowell) and Ohio (Earth Day 2019 at Cleveland Zoo). He participates in quarterly advisory panel meetings for EVolve New York (a state-level charging initiative) and has contributed to focus groups for prominent U.S. charging networks.
Birkett is a father-of-two who loves nothing more than packing up the family and hitting the road in their latest electric car, which is currently a 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5. With multiple Chevy Bolts in his past, as well as a Chevy Volt and Tesla Model 3 LR in the extended family, plus various EV rentals when he ventures back home to his native United Kingdom, Birkett has more than 100,000 all-electric miles under his belt and is always ready to try out a new electric vehicle.
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For years, the common refrain from fans was "Tesla doesn't do advertising". As competition heats up and economic conditions squeeze car buyers, Elon and co. are finally leaning into more established channels like Google Ads to stoke Tesla demand in the fourth quarter of 2023.
- Steve Birkett, Senior EV Editor
November 10th, 2023 –Tesla demand is under the spotlight in Q4 2023, as the market for electric vehicles tightens and the all-electric automaker turns to more traditional advertising channels to find new buyers.
Q3 sales highlighted how dominant Tesla's electric vehicles still are in the United States, making up more than half of the market so far this year. Even so, this number was down around 13% compared to 2022 and the automaker is aware that competition is hotting up in the US EV sector. With that in mind, Google Ads leaning into affordability and incentives have started showing up to stoke Tesla demand in Q4.
In the ongoing search for new Tesla customers, no ideas are off limits. This is why we're starting to see both paid advertising and embracing affordability added to Tesla's playbook, after years of turning its nose up at those channels.
Just a year ago, the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y were compared to the likes of BMW and Volvo when car buyers started shopping. Those comparisons are still relevant for Tesla's upper tier products, but Google Ads show that the base Model 3 and Y are now going after more budget-conscious buyers.
Searches for the most affordable electric cars currently on the market, such as the Chevy Bolt EV or the Nissan LEAF, now deliver sponsored search results for both of Tesla's everyman models. Further emphasizing the affordability aspect, Tesla bakes in both federal and state EV incentives to create an eye-catching headline price.
Will the value play convince buyers in this segment and drive Tesla demand up again as the year comes to a close? We'll find out in January but one thing is clear: the EV market in the United States is maturing and no tactics are off the table as competition heats up.