Hugo Griffiths 2019-09-05 10:50
Latest UK figures reveal 2,082 new Tesla Model 3s were registered in the UK last month as pent-up demand is satisfied
Tesla does not split its sales figures by country, and third-place in the UK’s rundown of last month’s best-sellers simply lists the car as “Other”. But Auto Express understands the Model 3 found more homes in August than the Ford Focus, Mercedes A-Class and Ford Kuga, which were the fourth, fifth and sixth best-selling models respectively.
Demand for electric cars frequently outstrips supply, with the UK allocation of the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric currently being sold out for 2019, with just roughly 1,500 of those two cars coming here this year.
But pent-up demand for the Model 3 has been gestating for some time in the UK, with the US carmaker prioritising American customers as its facilities struggled to produce enough cars to meet market demand.
The floodgates have now opened on the arrival of right-hand drive examples in the UK, though, and this is likely to partly explain why it features in the top-10 best-sellers’ list. Customers around the world were able to place deposits for the Model 3 soon after its unveiling in 2016, with Tesla reportedly taking hundreds of thousands of reservations within the first few days.
The Model 3’s UK configurator opened in May this year, with prices starting at just under £39,000 after the UK’s £3,500 electric car subsidy was applied. Price cuts have seen that figure fall in recent months, though, with the retail cost now standing at £36,490 for the standard 254-mile-range car, rising to £45,490 for the 348-mile Long Range version and £49,140 for the Performance Model 3, which is capable of going from 0-60mph in just 3.2 seconds.
Despite UK road laws regarding autonomous cars still being unclear at best, Tesla advertises the Model 3 with a “full self-driving capability” package of features for £5,800, with a promise that the ability to “recognise and respond to traffic lights and stop signs” and perform “automatic driving on city streets” coming later this year. The firm’s small print highlights these systems require “active driver supervision” and “do not make the vehicle autonomous”, with regulatory approval having the potential to “take longer in some jurisdictions”.