I’ve written so many articles about Switzerland being an EV laggard in Europe that it’s only fair to trumpet the news that the Swiss auto market has been “struck by Tesla lightning,” as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, one of the country’s top daily newspapers, put it. Tesla’s Model 3 was the best-selling car of any kind in Switzerland in March, with 1,094 new registrations.
Model 3 handily beat such perennial front-runners as the low-priced Skoda Octavia (801 units sold in March) and the ubiquitous VW Golf (546).
As I’ve bemoaned before, the Alpine nation offers no incentives for EV purchases (although a few of its individual cantons do). As InsideEVs pointed out, that fact actually makes Tesla’s Swiss blitzkrieg a particularly good omen for the future of Model 3 sales in Europe.
The EV press is jubilant over the news, but let’s not forget that the strong March sales figure surely includes many pre-orders, and isn’t likely representative of a typical month of sales. It’s also worth pointing out that many of the Model 3 sales seem to have come at the expense of Tesla’s other models, both of which saw monthly sales plummet in March (Switzerland has long been a pretty strong market for Models S and X, often generating more sales than much larger neighbor Germany).
On the other hand, as Electrek pointed out, only the two most expensive versions of Model 3 are on sale at the moment – there’s bound to be another surge of demand when Tesla introduces a less expensive version of the vehicle later this year.
In any case, such a sprint out of the starting gate is of incalculable PR value – the wave of favorable coverage in the local media is sure to get more of the affluent and car-loving Swiss talking about Tesla and EVs in general.
Model 3 was also the month’s top-selling model in Norway, (5,315 units sold), and the Netherlands (2,195), and posted impressive early sales in several other European markets: 2,226 units in Germany; 1,153 in France; 1,005 in Sweden and 396 in Spain.
Sources: NZZ, Le Temps, auto-schweiz, InsideEVs, Electrek