‘Tesla hype is all over in Belgium’
Belgian economical newspaper, De Tijd, headlines ‘Tesla hype is all over in Belgium’ on its front page, quoting figures that the American electric car maker sold 509 cars or 20% less in the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2017.
The figures are confirmed by Febiac, the Belgian federation of car manufacturers and importers. In a still slightly growing car market in Belgium Tesla sold five times fewer cars than brands like Porsche or Jaguar. In the rankings per brand it ends on a 33rd place just under Ssangyong and Lexus.
2.487 EVs sold in Belgium
In 2012, when Tesla set foot on Belgian soil, a total of 562 full electric cars (all brands together) were sold in Belgium, increasing to 1.360 in 2015 and topping at 2.487 in 2017. The Tesla Model S became quickly a bestseller in Belgium, catching a large part of the market.
According to the newspaper, it looks like the Tesla hype its charismatic founder and CEO Elon Musk built up for years around his unique electric cars , starts to faint the last months.
Falling back to figures of 2015
In 2016 Tesla sold 860 cars, one-third more than the year before. But in 2018 it looks the brand is falling back to figures comparable with 2015. Sixty pro cent of all Teslas sold in Belgium are Model S, the first to appear on the market in 2012.
The rest is Model X, launched in 2016, as the ‘cheaper’ Model 3 won’t be available for delivery at one of the Belgian dealerships in Aartselaar (Antwerp), Sint-Martens Latem (Ghent), Hasselt and Brussels (2) before 2019.
Serious trouble building Model 3
Eventually the arrival of the much-anticipated Model 3 was promised for the fourth quarter of 2018, but Tesla had to postpone its projections with six months, having serious trouble to get the mass production on the rails.
Last week Tesla boss, Elon Musk, tweeted triumphantly ‘we’re a real car manufacturer now’, when the car maker reached its 5.000 car per week target at the skin of its teeth on the 1st of July.
Waiting for the 35.000 dollar Tesla
Musk now even aims at 6.000 cars a week to catch up, but first the more expensive – full option – Model 3 will be delivered before rolling out the cheaper ‘35.000 dollar version’ to try to make the company profitable as soon as possible.
One of the reasons for the cooled down enthusiasm is without doubt that potential clients who have the money for a premium electric car are waiting for the competition to make its move.
Serious alternatives on horizon
While Tesla served as a wake-up call for the traditional car industry, there are some serious alternatives on the horizon today. Like Jaguar with its recently launched i-Pace, the Brussels-built Audi e-tron that will be launched in September, and the first from the future ‘electric line-up’ from Daimler, the Mercedes EQC, to be presented in September too.