Tesla S Exports Keep Rising

In 2015, electric-car maker Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) saw vehicle sales rise by 60% compared to 2014. Tesla Model S was world’s best-selling plug-in car in 2015, with its 50,366 sales for the calendar year. In all, the world market absorbed about half a million PEVs in 2015 meaning Tesla accounted for around 10 percent.

Tesla’s 2015 Model S sales tally was a sizable jump from 2014 when it sold 31,655 units and held down the second-best seller position. The Model S is also the cumulative second-best seller with 107,148 sales since its mid-2012 launch – behind the Nissan Leaf which had a 1.5 year head start from Dec.2010 and ahead of GM’s Volt/Ampera also released Dec. 2010 and now credited with 106,000 sales.

In the U.S., just over three years after entering the market, Model S took share from all incumbent manufacturers to become the number one selling comparably priced four-door sedan. In fact, Model S was the only vehicle in its class with growing sales last year. Tesla’s biggest market cumulatively to date has been its home country, the U.S., which has spoken for about 60 percent of Model S production since launch. Tesla sold 25,202 electric sedans in the U.S. in 2015, representing an increase of nearly 52 percent compared to the 16,689 deliveries in 2014. The number represents a quarter of the total cumulative sales of 107,000 units in all markets since the Model S first arrived.

After U.S. the top destination is Netherlands, home of Tesla’s European distribution center, took delivery on 11,696 vehicles in 2015. Norway has been second with around 9.4 percent, and other countries of note include Hong Kong, Belgium, Australia and Japan. Norway remains an important market for Tesla and its biggest in Europe. Tesla put a lot of efforts into developing the Norwegian EV market early in the introduction of the Model S because of the country’s generous incentives for electric vehicle buyers.

Electric cars in Norway are exempt from all non-recurring vehicle fees, including purchase taxes, which can be extremely high for gas-powered cars in the country, and 25% VAT. EVs are also exempt of all public parking fees, toll payments, and one of our favorites, electric vehicle drivers can use bus lanes. Tesla delivered the exact same number of Model S’s in 2014 and 2015: 4,039 units.

In May 2014, CEO Elon Musk’s letter to shareholders trumpeted the company’s first export of a Model S to China and he promised in a follow-up conference-call that: “We plan to expand in China as fast as possible because we believe the country could be one of our largest markets within a few years.” Tesla appeared well-positioned in China, where demand for luxury goods was growing and the government was encouraging the buying of electric vehicles to help curb pollution.

According to the Tesla’s Annual Report for SEC, China sales fell in 2015 to just $319 million from $477.1 million in 2014. With a population of 1.3 billion, China sales have fallen from Tesla’s number two market to its number three market, behind Norway with a population of only 5.1 million. The new sales target for 2016 in China is 5,000 units,

According to the Shareholder Letter, Tesla plan to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 new Model S and Model X vehicles in 2016. Tesla positions itself against luxury car lines in letter, pointing out that “Model S was the only vehicle in its class with growing sales last year.” Graphic shows Model S sales growing 51% year-over-year in 2015, while Audi, BMW and Benz lines declined.

In the first three months of 2016, Tesla Motors sold 14,820 cars in the first three months of the year. Q1 deliveries consisted of 12,420 Model S vehicles and 2,400 Model X vehicles. Q1 deliveries were almost 50% more than Q1 last year and Tesla remains on track to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 new vehicles in 2016.