AP NEWS

Tesla Model 3 German sales jump, closing in on Porsche

April 3, 2019

Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 has jumped off the starting line in Germany, drawing the U.S. 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 percent 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 percent 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.