Tesla’s Model 3 has jumped off the starting line in Germany, drawing the US electric-car company almost even with the vaunted Porsche sports-car brand in its second month of sales.
German car registrations for Tesla rose more than five times to 2 367 vehicles in March, following the Model 3’s introduction to Europe in February. The sales total, which includes models S and X, puts Tesla just 356 vehicles shy of Volkswagen AG-owned Porsche, monthly figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority show.
Porsche sales dropped 9.5% in March because of stricter emission tests in Europe, a decision to stop diesel cars and the model changovers of the 911 and Macan.
While premium-car heavyweights like Mercedes-Benz and BMW remained far ahead, the California company did leave well-known nameplates like Jaguar, Land Rover and Honda in the dust. Tesla delivered 3 596 cars in Europe’s largest economy in the first three months, as the market eked out 0.2% growth to 880 092 vehicles.
While Tesla is gaining, German peers are revving up electrification efforts, with Audi’s E-Tron already on sale, and the debuts this year of the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Porsche’s Taycan.
The market for battery cars in Europe remains small with customers worrying over patchy charging infrastructure and comparatively high prices.