tesla model 3 UK
Source: Tcxcadet/TMC

Electric car pioneer Tesla says its “mass-market” Model 3 is not just the best-selling car in its “premium” segment, it is now the selling more than all its petrol and diesel competitors combined.

The claim was made in the release of Tesla’s second quarter 2019 results, where it noted that total sales of Model 3 in the second quarter were 77,634.

“Not only was Model 3 once again the best-selling premium vehicle in the US, outselling all of its gas-powered equivalents combined, this product also gained traction in other markets,” the company said in its statement.

The premium market, which it includes BMW and Mercedes models, is not what most people think of “mass market”.

But Tesla notes that despite the ticket price (at least $US39,000 now for the standard plus model, and $US50,000 for the most popular long-range model), most customers are upgrading from non premium cars.

“More than 60% of Model 3 trade-ins are non-premium brands, indicating a larger total addressable market for this product than initially expected,” it notes.

Tesla is about to begin deliveries of the Model 3 in Australia, where the price starts at around $66,000 for the standard plus model, before add ons and regulatory charges that vary from state to state.

Tesla is also soon to begin production at the Shanghai gigafactory, with a line producing 150,000 units a year. In China, the base price for the Model 3 is about the same as its fossil fuel rivals, even before fuel savings and EV incentives.

“Given Chinese customers bought well over a half million mid-sized premium sedans last year, this market poses a strong long-term opportunity for Tesla,” the company notes.

“We are looking forward to starting production in China by the end of this year. Depending on the timing of the Gigafactory Shanghai ramp, we continue to target production of over 500,000 vehicles globally in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2020.”

CEO Elon Musk said that the combined deliveries of the Model 3 and its coming SUV version, the Model Y, should be more than 2 million vehicles a year.

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