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Traditional OEMs crash Tesla's European party

Tesla's West European new vehicle registrations continued to stumble going into this year's third quarter according to Schmidt Automotive Research, published in the latest European Electric Car Report which covers the original EU member states prior to the 2004 enlargement plus EFTA member states Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. During this year's third quarter, Tesla's regional volumes fell 12 per cent over the same quarter last year in a BEV segment that grew – fuelled by traditional OEMs scrambling to meet new 2020 EU CO2 compliance levels phased-in this year – by 121 per cent over the same period. As a result, Tesla's commanding leading position at the third quarter mark last year (33.8% share of the West European BEV market) was cut to just 13.5 per cent during this year's third quarter.

Not only this but in terms of volumes both Volkswagen Group and combined Renault/Nissan Alliance with respective January-September BEV volumes of 87,000 and 83,000, surpassed that of the Californians that accumulated 63,000 units or 12,000 fewer than the same period last year.

Tesla's West European market share collapses
Tesla's West European market share collapses

However with Honda joining FCA's open CO2 pool this week, which includes Tesla as the main CO2 donor, the California's will likely come under pressure to increase their fourth quarter European volumes which could be a reason why they have reportedly, according to a Reuters report, decided to export Chinese made Model 3 vehicles to Europe in the final quarter of this year. One train of thought is that Tesla may be planning on flooding the European market with increased volumes in the final quarter of the year to try and benefit from a windfall potentially on offer as those manufacturers that are worried about missing their 2020 CO2 obligations with second lock-downs on the horizon, scramble to join open pools to avoid larger fines, such as Honda (as reported).

Tesla 12-month rolling European volumes
Tesla's 12-month rolling West European volumes frozen while VW Group and Renault/Nissan pass by

In terms of 12-months rolling totals, Tesla's volumes hit a concrete wall at the end of last year and have fallen back to below 100,000 units since the second half of this year, with the 12-month period up to September achieving the lowest volumes since November 2019 with 97,600 units. A large push by Tesla, with the reported Chinese manufactured Model 3s heading to Europe, as well as US Fremont manufactured models should see Tesla volumes remain at close to 100,000 units once again (full year 2019: 110,000), but this time around they won't have have Volkswagen Group and Renault/Nissan in their rear view mirror, but silently pulling away in front of them.

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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