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Summary
We have July month sales numbers from Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands. Polestar 2 (“Volvo”) outsold Tesla Model 3.
Tesla Model 3 was down 94% compared to one year ago, in those countries. Yes, that’s not a typo.
Tesla Model 3 also was outsold by Porsche Taycan (5:1), Mercedes EQC (13:1) and Audi eTron (17:1).
Mind you, we’re not even talking about Tesla Model X or S here. We’re talking about the Model 3!
This is just the beginning of Tesla’s market share troubles in Europe. The competition in Europe is eating into Tesla from all sides.
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NOTE: A version of this article was first published on or about Aug. 4, 2020, on my Seeking Alpha Marketplace site.

July month sales numbers from European countries are starting to come in, and things are not looking good for Tesla (TSLA), to put it mildly. As of this writing, we have July month unit sales results from some of the strongest electric vehicle (EV) markets in Europe, in particular, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands.
Let’s first deal with the newcomer on the European EV scene, the Polestar 2. What's the Polestar 2, you might ask?
Polestar is a joint venture between Geely and Volvo Cars. Volvo Cars is in turn substantially owned by Geely, so - Volvo Cars and Geely are all practically the same, sort of like Kia and Hyundai are the same in reality. The marketing organization is different, as are some design elements.
The Polestar 2 is not the first made-in-China car to be sold on U.S. soil. Volvo itself had two cars made in China that were sold in the U.S. a few years ago. General Motors had two cars, made in China, sold in the U.S. in the last few years.
But today we are talking about three of the first countries in Europe to report July month unit sales results, and they happen to be three of the most important EV markets in Europe. So how did the Polestar 2 do when compared to the EV darling, the Tesla Model 3?



Europe JulyTesla Model 3Polestar 2
Norway2217
Sweden550
Netherlands3115
TOTAL5882

Data source: EV registration statistics for The Netherlands, Norway and Spain and Nyregistreringar


As you can see in the table above, two things are true:

  1. The absolute numbers for both cars are ridiculously small.
  2. Polestar 2 outsold the Tesla Model 3.
You may wonder: How do these Tesla Model 3 unit sales numbers in the three European countries compare to a year ago?


Model 3July 2020July 2019change
Norway22308-93%
Sweden5148-97%
Netherlands31590-95%
TOTAL581046-94%

Data source: EV registration statistics for The Netherlands, Norway and Spain and Nyregistreringar

As you can see in the table above, we are looking at an impressive growth company here: Minus 94%. In comparison, this is a lot worse than AOL’s dial-up modem subscriber decline two decades ago. Tesla’s “growth” in these geographies is negative and is rapidly approaching oblivion.

But wait, there’s more! Tesla’s more expensive cars, the Model X and Model S, also have fully electric competitors from Audi, Mercedes and Porsche, among others. How does the less expensive Model 3 stack up against those more expensive EVs?


Europe JulyTesla Model 3Audi eTronMercedes EQCPorsche Taycan
Norway22698655105
Sweden51387288
Netherlands311725383
TOTAL581008780276

Data source: EV registration statistics for The Netherlands, Norway and Spain and Nyregistreringar

As you can see in the table above, it’s not exactly a close call. Porsche Taycan outsold the Tesla Model 3 by approximately 5:1, the Mercedes EQC 13:1 and the Audi eTron 17:1. And yes, the Audi eTron includes the Sportback versions (50 and 55) for obvious reasons.

I’m not sure that these numbers can get any worse for Tesla, so I fully expect Tesla’s Model 3 sales numbers in Europe to improve from the July month fiasco. Still, it’s also not clear that Tesla hasn’t lost the sales plot forever in Europe. Polestar, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and many others will continue to eat into the Model 3’s flesh like hyenas feasting on a wildebeest.

Tesla is valued like a growth company with dominant market share. Here are the Tesla Model 3 sales numbers in Europe overall (not just the three countries discussed above):



EuropeTesla Model 3Total EV salesTesla M3 %
Jan 20190334310%
Feb 201937573267111%
Mar 2019157715974126%
Apr 201937383711110%
May 20192489373997%
Jun 2019116044738424%
Jul 201934783583810%
Aug 201952863527815%
Sep 2019174905866230%
Oct 20191767482194%
Nov 201973805503313%
Dec 2019221377724829%
Jan 20201517746632%
Feb 20203589695385%
Mar 2020161218434919%
Apr 20202461315008%
May 20202278468055%
June 20207224928808%

Data source: EV Sales

As you can see in the table above, 2020 has been a disaster for Tesla. EV market share has ranged from 2% to 8% in all months except for one. We don’t have the July numbers for all of Europe yet, obviously, but that will come in about three weeks from now. I expect Tesla’s July numbers in Europe to be very, very low, even by these standards.

So what about the world overall for Tesla - Model 3 as well as total?


GlobalTesla Model 3Tesla totalTotal EV salesTesla M3 %Tesla total %
Jan 20197277103401536955%7%
Feb 201910436140501115419%13%
Mar 2019331873808422433515%17%
Apr 2019174642082316620011%13%
May 2019179652315617927010%13%
Jun 2019396324878826459115%18%
Jul 2019190572328414814413%16%
Aug 2019213362675815769614%17%
Sep 2019392014982118339321%27%
Oct 201913359165651495529%11%
Nov 2019258783133717654715%18%
Dec 2019537426314827921419%23%
Jan 202010013127791506137%8%
Feb 2020136611627611617012%14%
Mar 2020487886013119238025%31%
Apr 2020117611479311027411%13%
May 2020208472460714460014%17%
Jun 2020358544976522989416%22%

Data source: EV Sales

As you can see in the table above, the global sales numbers look a bit better for Tesla. Why? China and North America. Actually, it’s all China, but we don’t have great numbers to break them down at this point. In any case, the extreme weakness in Europe is balanced by Tesla’s strong growth in China during the first half of 2020.


Conclusion: Polestar 2 beats Tesla Model 3
This is just an example. While we can see that Audi eTron, Mercedes EQC and Porsche Taycan beat the Tesla Model 3 in three of the most important countries in Europe, we now add yet another new car to that list: Polestar 2, which is made in China but exported globally.

It’s just more hyena joining the dinner party, feasting off Tesla’s EV market share. In a couple of years, there won’t be much left. Just like AOL’s dial-up modem business two decades ago, when broadband (cable modems and DSL) overtook the home Internet access market.
 

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I'm def proPolestar and think this analysis is too premature. The P*2's first launch year will show high #s until it saturates demand, then it will also fall off just like the M3 is doing. Directly comparing P*2 v M3 sales in the first 3-12 mos. won't say anything about P2 demand vs M3 - especially with COVID.

But, Tesla definitely needs to figure things out. There's only so many markets it can enter into and get the sort of growth it's seen its first ~decade. The big OEMs are entering the market now, headed up by VAG, and its the first time Tesla has had real competition. Tesla's market share is definitely going down and will go down further. It's not clear that Tesla knows how to sell to folks in the early majority and anyone else beyond the early adopters. And their structural advantages with things like the SuperCharger network will (hopefully) be matched by the different 'public' networks.

I really hope Tesla hires actual interior/exterior designers and Human-Machine interface designers. Or figures out how to partner with OEMs who have good designers, like Polestar. Tesla makes the best EV drivetrains out there.

Like, could you imagine a Polestar, with its design and chassis, paired with a Tesla drivetrain and charging network? I'd buy that in a heartbeat.
 

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Hmmm - a couple of points. .
First the news site is usually anti-Tesla with short-sellers trying to spread FUD so it’s not unusual to see these stories
The low EU sales would be due to Europe being supplied from Tesla in the USA and the factory was closed due to Covid, so no stock available to deliver. Although not sure where the European cars came from as their factories would have been closed too, or seriously reduced capacity, even if sold from existing stock they are big numbers.
The biggest mystery is the ’sales’ of Polestar, as it was only a few days ago that their PR people showed the first sale in Europe - which was in Sweden on 31st July. These cars were probably registered PR cars for journalists to test drive and maybe some staff cars for HQ. We have the same few cars showing up in U.K. for test drives, so U.K. too will have July sales or more realistically - registrations, but there are no official U.K. deliveries expected until September.
Tesla sales are not waning, they will sell all the cars they make, along with most other EV manufacturers, for a long time to come, and the short-sellers and the oil companies will keep trying to discredit them
 

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Whilst those figures are interesting - they're only 3 countries - and 2 the Tesla 3 outsold the Polestar 2. The other one being Sweden - which perhaps favoured the more Swedish Brand.

The Big Drop in Tesla sales (compared to last year) can be partly explained by the COVID pandemic.

Until recently Tesla were the only sensible EV choice. As there are now more players in the market then likewise their market share will drop.

However, in the UK Tesla's weren't that popular - so I'm sure this year their sales will increase - although it will be interesting to see how many Tesla 3's have been sold in July compared to Polestar 2's - I think the Polestar wlll have done fairly well.

Edit - well July 2020 figures have been released by the SMMT. Unfortunately, as they only relate to registrations - they show Polestar having 8 - which I guess is just the press/test cars.

Also unfortunately, Tesla aren't listed separately but instead come under 'Other Imports' and as the Tesla 3 has dropped out of the top 10 I can't say how many have actually been registered ☹
 

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While the article is interesting the pool size is too small for any real data to be extracted over the EU.

What I didn't find a shock was the preference of Merc/Audi/Jag SUV's. We in the EU have been spoilt with luxury brands for a long time and the current preference of SUV's means the only Tesla offering is the Model X, which I'm sure sold in ok numbers, but it is a bit unique and would have put the general going public off.

Having driven a Model X for a week and also a vast selection of German/UK top brand cars over many years, I can say that there is zero competition on the interior quality - and as mentioned above we are have become accustomed to luxury cars, let alone panel gaps around +/- 3-6mm compared to +/-1-2mm!


I think if the Model Y was available in the UK a lot more people would be interested in an EV, but that's not expected until Early 2022! Kia and Hyundia have been stealing the show in the UK for EV SUV's - they are all great efficient cars!

Early next year we will also have the Ford Mach E and Nisan Ayria - both will have almost a years head start over Tesla Model Y and be a more well know and trusted Brand name!

My view's on Telsa (from a UK point of view) is that they are focusing on being established big in the US and they don't care (or maybe can't afford to care) about the UK as much as they want/should. Model Y's now predicted early 2022 ... Cybertruck maybe redesigned for the EU (probably smaller proportions) and won't be at best until late 2022 (probably 2023!)

The Model 3 sells very well in the UK, there is a 3 month waiting for one and you can't find a 2nd had one unless you are looking 24/7. But the same can be said with e-Niro's ... they are 6+ months delivery and sell 2nd hand almost instantly for above average costs!

This says to me there is a thirst for EV's in the UK ... and not necessarily Tesla's. Once the market is saturated with over brands Tesla will really have to step up to compete in the UK. A Charging network is good pro for them now, but other networks are catching up to them fast. In addition as I've mentioned ... most UK'ers don't do more than 100 miles more than 2-3 times a year.

I live NE of London just outside the M25. With a 200 mile range I can drive almost anywhere in the UK with only 1-2 charges being required with the exception of Scotland ... where I'd need 3+
But with a family in the car there is no way I'm doing more than 4-5 hours of driving in one day.

The three biggest drives I do are :-
London to Blackpool / Lake District (250-300 miles)
London to Wales (Snowdonia) (250 Miles)
London to Devon (220-300 miles)

I do ONE of these ONCE a year.

The rest of my trips are 150 miles or less.

I don't think my family is that uncommon regardless of where you live therefore the charging network isn't a massive consideration for most UK family's. So what does Tesla have left? The tech ... which will defiantly appeal to some people - like me ... I'm a total geek head when it comes to gadgets and electronics. But the general public like their Fords, Nissan's, Kia's, etc... and will stick with brands they know.


As usual from me a long post. Sorry ... the TLDR conclusion is Tesla's dominance in the UK is going to diminish fast once the Ariya (& to a lesser extend the Mach E) are out - and once we leave the EU and can negotiate our own trade deals with Korea and lift the import cap of Kia/Hyundi cars coming into the UK, I think the sales of e-Niro's and Kona's will start jumping up high fast.
Tesla will only have the Model S, 3, and X in the UK for the next 18months!

I can't say what will happen to the EU Market ... but with the BMW x3i and 4 series coming out plus VW's , Skoda's, & French EV's also being released now/early 2021 ... it's going to be a big hit to Tesla's market share until they get that manufacturing plant going in Berlin and can deliver their whole range to the EU.
 
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