Tesla reported just four new cars as sold in Australia last month – but the first mass shipments of cars in many months are en route to customers now.
Tesla electric car sales have dropped to their lowest level since the company began publishing its sales figures earlier this year – but a wave of new Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs are only days away from showrooms.
The latest VFACTS industry sales data published by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries today shows only four Tesla Model 3s were reported as sold in July – a fraction of the 3097 sold in March, and 4653 over the first six months of the year.
It means Tesla was Australia’s fourth slowest-selling car brand last month – excluding those with discontinued cars – barely outselling Rolls-Royce (3), but outperformed by the likes of Aston Martin (8), Bentley (9) and Ferrari (15).
However, the single-digit sales result can be attributed wholly to supply, as prior to this month (August), the last shipment of Tesla cars to Australia arrived in early June, containing about 200 cars – most of which were delivered in June.
While July’s sales slumped, Tesla sales in August are slated to be supercharged with the arrival of multiple mass shipments of cars from the brand’s Shanghai factory.
According to reputable Tesla shipping tracker VedaPrime, the first of these shipments docked in NSW’s Port Kembla over the weekend, containing both Model 3 sedans and the first customer examples of the Model Y SUV.
Some Model Y customers – among the first to place their order online in June – claim on Facebook they have already taken delivery, with many more citing delivery dates as soon as Thursday or Friday this week.
It’s unclear how many cars are in these new shipments – of which there will be multiples over the coming weeks. In Tesla’s last “normal” month of sales, it reported just over 3000 cars as delivered – though this could have come from multiple ships.
The August shipments should push Tesla sales back on track, after a strong start to the year – followed by COVID-19 lockdowns in China that brought Tesla’s Shanghai plant to a halt in March, followed by a crawl through April.
Including July’s result, only 240 new Tesla vehicles are reported to have reached customer hands since April 1 – which has seen the electric vehicle (EV) giant lose monthly sales crowns to the likes of Polestar, Volvo and Hyundai.
However, Tesla has sold more electric cars than any other brand since the start of the year – accounting for 45 per cent (4657 of 10,289) electric vehicles reported as sold since January 1.
Assisting Tesla sales in the second half of 2022 will be the new Model Y SUV, due imminently – the first time Tesla has sold (delivered) more than one model to local customers since the larger Model S sedan and Model X SUV went off sale 18 months ago.
Set to challenge Tesla for the electric-car sales crown is BYD, a new Chinese brand which claims to currently hold more than 3500 orders for its first mass-produced model, the $45,000 Atto 3 – all of which it plans to deliver before the end of 2022.
That would make it Australia’s second best-selling electric vehicle brand by year’s end – with Hyundai likely to be a distant third, as in the first half of 2022 it only reported 1276 electric cars as sold.
BYD’s local distributor EVDirect says the brand has capacity to produce up to 3000 cars per model line, per month – which, if all of those vehicles are sold, would place it among the top-selling new-car brands outright.