Tesla’s rise in Germany is only the beginning of Elon Musk’s plan in Europe

The Tesla Model Y crossover. (Credit: Tesla)

As Tesla awaits to begin construction of its Gigafactory 4 in Brandenburg, the US electric car manufacturer made big strides in terms of making the automotive giants feel its presence. Tesla led all brands in terms of most new registrations of purely electric cars for 2019 in Germany.

Based on the data from Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), Electrive reported that Tesla delivered 10,710 electric vehicles in 2019, edging Renault, which came in a far second with 9,431 units. BMW posted the third most EV registrations with 9,117 vehicles hitting the road.

The Tesla Model 3 was the leader of the pack in December with 926 new registrations followed by the Renault Zoe with 780 and the Volkwagen e-Golf with 764. New registrations of Model S and Model X were 114 and 89, respectively.

Likewise, KBA reported that Tesla is the king of imported brands in Germany. The Palo Alto, California-based carmaker registered a 462.3% increase in new vehicle registrations last year. Lexus posted a 29.7% increase while Ssangyong went up by 17.8%.

The latest numbers bode well for the future of Tesla in a country considered as the hub of automotive giants such as Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen. But it’s not just Germany that experienced Tesla’s strong presence. In the Netherlands, Tesla crushed the competition to end 2019 with 30,882 new electric vehicle registrations last year. The Model 3 was also the best selling car for 2019 in Norway, posting an 11% market share.

It is an impressive achievement to see how Tesla’s vehicles compete as an imported brand in Europe and one can only be excited to think how things will be when Tesla begins production of the Model Y when Gigafactory 4 starts its operations.

It is also interesting to take note that more than half of new vehicle registrations in Germany were SUVs with a recorded increase of 21%. The Model Y’s entry into the market might just be perfectly timed to make the most of the demand in the segment, especially since Gigafactory 4 is expected to produce about 250,000 vehicles during its initial phase, ramping to about 500,000 units annually.

With such production goals, Tesla can saturate the local market that just happens to be switching to greener vehicles. Petrol and diesel units still dominated Germany’s December 2019 registrations but green vehicles gained the most impressive year-over-year gains. Electric cars posted gains of 49.8% compared to the same period in 2018, while hybrid vehicles recorded a 130.8% rise. PHEVs saw a 197.6% increase.

What Tesla is achieving in Germany now could help foretell what to expect in the biggest markets in Europe. Just like what Elon Musk is doing in China, Tesla will soon be a force to be reckoned with in the region. For a region that plans to dramatically cut down its CO2 emissions, Tesla may very well be the perfect car maker to support.

Randell Suba: A curious soul who keeps wondering how Elon Musk, Tesla, electric cars, and clean energy technologies will shape the future, or do we really need to escape to Mars.
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