The Tesla Model 3 was the No. 3-selling new car in the UK in August, finishing behind the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf.
It's the first time a full-electric car has been in the UK's overall ranking of top 10 selling models.
The UK is Europe's second-largest car market after Germany.
With sales of 2,082 Model 3s, the Tesla model was ahead of the Ford Focus at No. 4 and the Mercedes-Benz A class, which rounded out the UK top five last month.
The success of Tesla's smallest model pushed the UK's electric car sales up by 337 percent in August to 3,147 units. The overall UK market was down 2 percent.
The record was hailed by European green lobby group Transport & Environment. "Tesla Model 3 was the third best-selling car of any brand. Reminder: We are in 2019, not 2025..." the group tweeted.
The Model 3 was Europe's best-selling electric car in the first six months with sales of 37,227, figures from market researcher JATO Dynamics show. The Renault Zoe was second at 23,914 followed by the Nissan Leaf.
The six-month numbers for Tesla were good enough to rank the Model 3 fourth in the midsize premium segment behind the Mercedes C class, Audi A4 and BMW 3 series.
Total sales of electric car in Europe in the first half were up 88 percent compared with the same period last year at 161,695, boosted by newcomers such as the Model 3, Hyundai Kona, Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
The UK's impressive result for Tesla was partly because the U.S. company had delayed the entry of the right-hand-drive model, meaning much of the sales were coming from customers who had reserved models. I
It was also helped by the fact that August is traditionally a slow month for car sales in the UK, meaning it was artificially boosted in the rankings.
Declining Italian demand
In those markets where the Model 3 has been on sale since spring, demand has dropped off. In Italy, the Model 3 was ranked 493 with sales of 71 for the month. In Germany for July, Tesla sold 454 of the Model 3.
Tesla generated headlines in March after initial sales of Model 3 in Europe pushed it to the top of the midsize premium charts with sales of 15,755, beating rivals from Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
It was also the best-selling car in Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands for the month. In July however, the Model 3 was 8th overall in the Netherlands with sales of 590.
Tesla is working on an SUV version of the Model 3 called Model Y with production slated to start in 2021.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has predicted it will outsell all its models combined. The car will cost from 56,000 euros in Germany, the brand has said.
Tesla has said its balance sheet in Europe will be boosted by a "multi-year" deal in which FCA pays the company to off-set its own carbon dioxide emissions to help it hit stringent standards starting from 2020.
Article source: autonews.com