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Tesla West European volumes slump – H1 2020

Tesla's West European new vehicle registrations collapsed during the first half of this year as other manufacturers aiming to reach new EU CO2 fleet emissions targets – phased in this year – are offering both Europe's private customers and tax savvy company car drivers more choice according to the June edition of the European Electric Car Report published next week. Tesla's West European registrations fell by 18 per cent during the first half of this year in a pure electric BEV car market that saw volumes increase by 34 per cent over the same period last year to 216,000 units according to the monthly report. The consequence was a halving in Tesla's share of the pure electric West European passenger car market in the space of just two quarters.

West European BEV electric car market share by manufacturer group up to Q2 2020
West European BEV electric car market share by manufacturer group

The California manufacturer, that since the beginning of this year has begun production operations in China, alongside its incumbent US production site, saw West European volumes reach just 36,700 units across the region (-18% y/y) during the opening 6 months of this year, made up predominantly by its Model 3, seeing units reach 32,300 units and consequently being passed by the Renault Zoe in volume terms.

Worrying for Tesla was the fact that the market was expanding – despite the corona pandemic impacting the total passenger car market heavily – the pure electric market witnessed a first quarter rises of 57 per cent and a 5.2 per cent increase in the second quarter of the year while second quarter Tesla volumes fell by 40 per cent year on year.

Tesla was likely heavily impacted by corona headwinds with shipping schedules to Europe from the USA being disrupted – while all manufacturers suffered production halts – and despite initial impressive UK registrations in March and June, thanks to the manufacturer likely targeting the market with its limited European supply thanks to the benefit in kind tax change in April, volumes were fewer than had been expected. Tesla's West European 12-month rolling total is expected to dip below 100,000 units in July, having ended last year with 110,000 West European registrations. According to the report Volkswagen Group are likely to register around 180,000 combined BEV units across the region this year.

Full data and trends are published each month in The European Electric Car Report.

* Western Europe is classified by the report as: 18 Markets: EU Member States prior to the 2004 enlargement plus EFTA markets Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, plus UK


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