None of them have a direct answer – yet.
The BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class have long been mid-size premium sedan standouts, especially in their German homeland. Then came along a certain California-based EV startup called Tesla. Although it’s taken a few years, Tesla has turned into a serious threat for not only luxury carmakers like these, but for the auto industry as a whole. That’s what disruptors do. And Tesla is very good at that.
According to March’s sales figures, the Model 3 outsold the 3 Series, A4, and C-Class in Europe. In fact, the Model 3 was the continent’s best-selling mid-size premium sedan. JATO Dynamics, via Automotive News Europe, shows Tesla sold a total of 15,755 Model 3s in March, surpassing all three of those German sedans. It was also the best-selling sedan in Europe this past February, its first full month of sales.
In fact, the Model 3 was the best-selling car in Norway, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. And when we say "best-selling car,” we don’t mean best-selling EV. Impressive. In Norway, for example, the Model 3 had a 29 percent market share. All told, Tesla was the No. 25 best-selling brand in Europe in March, surpassing the likes of Lexus, Jaguar, and Alfa Romeo. Equally impressive is that the Model 3 has still not gone on sale in all European markets yet, meaning sales are likely to increase once it does.
Next month, Model 3 sales will commence in the UK, which is expected to be a major market. Interestingly, the Model 3’s European arrival has caused a big decrease in demand for the Model S and Model X. Model S and Model X sales in Europe dropped by 72 percent and 52 percent, respectively.
One possible reason for this is high Model 3 demand, which also faced European launch delays like it did in the US. This means the Model 3 could be, for the time being, the worst enemy of the Model S and Model X. However, April’s Model 3 sales figured cooled significantly. In Norway, the Volkswagen Golf defeated the Model 3 as the month’s best-selling car. But European Model 3 demand remains high and Tesla is facing, not surprisingly, some shipping issues. The more things change, the more they stay the same.