As reported in the Daily Telegraph today.
Tesla’s Model 3 – was Britain’s third-biggest selling vehicle in August!
The Model 3 – which starts at £36,500 including a £3,500 government grant – overtook Ford’s Focus to claim the position and was beaten only by the Ford’s Fiesta and VW’s Golf.
New car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that in August 3,978 Fiestas were driven off dealer forecourts, 3,439 Golfs and 2,082 “other” models – which The Telegraph understands to be Tesla Model 3s.
Tesla requested to be recorded in the SMMT’s figures as “other” as part of the company’s policy of not releasing regional sales figures. Its previously low monthly registrations of other models were not significant enough for them to be registered separately.
The Model 3’s surprise appearance in the bestsellers chart is likely to be only temporary, though.
The sales boom in August came in a month where the car market is normally slow, meaning the figures can be skewed.
Model 3 registrations were also boosted by pent-up demand following the vehicle’s UK launch on June 20, which meant drivers had been forced to wait to get behind the wheel compared with other countries.
Tesla’s success is some rare good news for the car industry, with the market contracting to 92,573 registrations in August, 1.6pc lower than the same month last year when sales were constrained by the introduction of a new emissions testing regime.
It was the sixth consecutive month of decline as Brexit and global economic uncertainties weigh.
However, Tesla’s sales drive was behind a surge in sales of battery cars, which rose 377pc to 3,147, giving them 3.4pc of the UK market in the month – a near five-fold increase on a year ago.
Diesel sales continue to wane in the wake of the VW emissions scandal that blew up in 2015. Just 24,484 diesel cars were sold in August, an annual drop of 12.2pc and giving them 26.4pc of the market. Before “dieselgate”, the fuel represented half of the UK market.
Petrol car sales rose 1pc in August to 59,019, a 63.8pc market share.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said:
“The huge increase in electric vehicle registrations is very visible but especially welcome. It’s great to see consumers respond to the massive industry investment made over many years.”
However, despite the market share gains he said they highlighted the “long road” the government’s 2030 zero emissions target.
“Manufacturers can deliver the technology, but they can’t dictate the pace of uptake,” Mr Hawes added.
“To support a smooth transition and deliver environmental gains now, we need a long-term government commitment to measures that give consumers confidence to invest in the latest technologies that best suit their needs.”