It can be hard to know how to accurately judge Tesla’s sales performance, as for many years there simply weren’t other options in the luxury electric market. Also, until pretty recently, Tesla didn’t sell all that many cars, making the sample size small. More instructive would be to look at how Tesla does in a place like Norway, where there is a lot of EV competition and where over half of new cars sold are EVs.
The answer, lately: not great, while Ford is off to a pretty hot start with its Mustang Mach-E. Some of that can be attributed to the Mustang Mach-E being a new model there, but also the Mustang Mach-E isn’t the only EV to have beaten Tesla last month.
Battery electric vehicles made up 60.4% of all new cars sold in Norway last month, the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) said, up from 43.1% a year ago as the country seeks to become the first to end the sale of petrol and diesel engines by 2025.
A total of 1,384 electric Ford Mustangs were registered in May for a 10% share of Norway’s overall car market, ahead of Toyota’s (7203.T) RAV4 hybrid vehicle and Skoda’s electric Enyaq. Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) Model 3 took sixth place.
“Our realistic goal is to remain prominent in the sales statistics for several months to come,” Chief Executive Per Gunnar Berg of Ford Motor Norway said in a statement.
Here is the top ten in Norway, per OFV, all of which are electrified in some fashion:
You might say that one month means very little, and I would agree, so let’s have a look at April in Norway, when a Tesla didn’t even crack the top ten:
Or March, when Tesla had a very good month:
Or February, when Tesla was much further down on the list:
What seems clear is that Tesla is not dominant in a market where it faces real competition and where most people buying new cars are buying EVs, which is something that, if I were Elon Musk, I might be quite worried about. And that’s not because the taste for cars in Norway is the same as the world’s taste, but more that this is what it looks like when real competition for Tesla shows up.
Take, for example, Norway’s top 15 from all of 2019, when Tesla was crushing it and the Volkswagen ID.4 didn’t exist:
Tesla still has plenty of room to grow in places that aren’t Norway, so this isn’t any kind of existential business concern, but it does offer solid evidence that there is a market out there for a non-Tesla electric vehicle, and a pretty robust one. Make the Model 2, Elon, I can see no other way back.