Toyota's eventual answer will need to be more than just a fancy Prius.
Now that the Tesla Model S has launched and the skepticism has settled, it’s time to figure out who exactly is buying the certainly not cheap Model S. After taking some sales data, an automotive analyst has pretty much figured out which demographic is buying the Model S in the greatest numbers: very wealthy people and Toyota Prius owners. A new report in the LA Times is claiming that about "15.5 percent of Model S owners had a Toyota-brand model at the time of purchase."
It’s not clear whether or not they were trading in the Toyota for the Tesla. The bottom line is that "The Toyota conquests by the Model S are being driven by the Prius, which is the number one model conquested by the Model S." Wealthy Prius owners have found a new passion. What’s more is that some 25.3 percent of Tesla customers in the US previously owned either a Toyota or Lexus when they bought they Model S. Other victims of the Tesla’s sales dominance are the Nissan Leaf as well a unnamed Mercedes-Benz and BMW models. It was also discovered that Lotus Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati owners were also very likely to drop by a Tesla dealer to make a purchase.