Europeans love the Tesla Model 3 all-electric luxury sedan so much they've made the car the top-selling battery electric vehicle (BEV) on the continent after only a single month.
The Model 3 also topped the luxury mid-size segment, which consists of gasoline-powered cars, against formidable competition from the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This was an embarrassing slap to the face of Germany's fabled luxury car makers. And the Model 3 hasn't even been sold in the United Kingdom.
Tesla Inc. sold 3,724 Model 3's in February and took 18 percent of all BEV sales, according to data from Matthias Schmidt, an automotive industry analyst based in Berlin. March sales for the Model 3 are widely expected to be higher.
"Despite Tesla Model 3 topping Western Europe's electric car market in its first month of European deliveries in February -- accounting for 18% of the pure electric car market -- the boost is also coming at the expensive of its flagship Model S model expected to record a big fall in first-quarter sales ," said Schmidt told Forbes.
Model 3 sales in Europe for 2019 might hit 80,000 cars, according to Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Dudenhoeffer's estimate, however, is much larger than that of Schmidt's, who projects Model 3 sales at 50,000 units.
The Model 3 quickly outsold other competitors such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe despite being more expensive and only available for just one month. One analyst said the performance of the Model 3 is remarkable, given they normally don't see this kind of result until four or five months after a new car has hit the road.
"The Tesla Model 3 achieved another record in February, as it became the top-selling premium midsize sedan in Europe, outperforming the popular Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series," said Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics.
"As we're seeing in the U.S., Tesla is also shaking up the European market. Its long-lasting impact will depend on how quickly the German premium makers, Volvo and JLR (Tata Motors of India-owned and British-based Jaguar Land Rover) react to the arrival of the Model 3 to Europe and how quickly they can bring in their own midsize electric cars."
It was only in early February when the Model 3s were first shipped to Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Spain from the United States. Customers in The Netherlands and Belgium were the first to get their Model 3s, with Germany following shortly thereafter.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.