Ever since the pioneering electric carmaker’s 2012 arrival, sales have remained a burning topic; one fuelled by Tesla evading voluntary VFACTs reporting and myriad media inquiries.
Now, carsales.com.au can reveal Tesla has sold 2057 vehicles in Australia to-date, with more than half that figure accumulated in 2018 alone.
According to registration data obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Tesla sold 97 vehicles in 2015 and 244 vehicles in 2016. Following the introduction of the Model X in 2017, sales for that year spiked to 396 vehicles.
Tesla’s Australian cut-through materialised further in 2018, the data reveals, with sales of 1320 vehicles based on annual Motor Vehicle Census data.
The data does not include registrations of Tesla’s pioneering Roadster, which first landed down under in 2012. However, it is understood Roadster numbers in Australia total less than 30 vehicles.
A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment on the registration data, nor confirm its accuracy. However, sources close to Tesla’s dealer network have verified the figures as accurate.
Against the backdrop of a new car market which exceeded 1.1 million vehicles last year, Tesla’s 1320 sales for 2018 make up a tiny percentage of the overall landscape.
However, in relative electric car and luxury car terms, Tesla’s reach holds up strongly. It is currently outselling Maserati by two-to-one, and is approaching Jaguar’s total annual sales – coincidentally, as Jaguar debuts its first electric car locally, the I-PACE.
Moreover, it is understood that deposits for Tesla’s segment-disrupting Model 3, a new entry model which is due mid-year, totals about 8000 vehicles.
“Sales have slowed for Model X and Model S recently, as prospective buyers hold off for Model 3,” said the source, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Tesla has steadfastly refused to post regional sales ever since its conception.Globally, Tesla has amassed more than 532,000 sales since 2012, including 245,000 in 2018.
Tesla's Australian strategy flies in the face of all other car-makers, some of which manipulate their own sales data in order to appease their parent bodies - as exposed by carsales last month.
In any case, Tesla’s growth is expected to accelerate with the arrival of the Model 3, and will be further bolstered by the incoming Model Y SUV and a rumoured utility vehicle, both set for an Australian arrival post 2020.
The ABS figures obtained by carsales correlate with separate data from the NSW Government, which shows that 1157 Teslas are currently registered on the state's roads.
*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics