Tesla Model 3 became the best-selling car, regardless of fuel type, in December in the UK, having sold a record number of vehicles, and significantly increased the share of EVs in the country's market.
This is not the first time Model 3 became the best-selling car in the UK in 2020. In April and May, the electric vehicle took first place in the number of registrations, surpassing not only BEVs but also other cars powered by gas, diesel or petrol.
In December, Model 3 reached unprecedented heights for the UK market, registering a record 5,798 units, according to SMMT. It was followed in second place by the gas-powered Volkswagen Golf with 4,470 registrations, which is 1,328 units fewer than the electric Model 3. The Ford Fiesta came in third with 3,367 units sold. Fourth place belongs to the electric Volkswagen ID.3 with 3,188 registrations. Nissan Qashqai closes out the top five with 3,109 units sold.
It should be noted that Tesla continues to shine in the UK market, regardless of the situation that developed in 2020. The Society of Car Manufacturers and Dealers said that this year saw the biggest annual decline in car sales since World War II, when factories were converted to military production.
There were about 1.63 million new vehicles registered in 2020, up from 2.3 million in 2019, a decrease of 29%. The bulk of the lost sales occurred during the first lockdown in the spring, when showrooms were forced to close. Tesla's strong sales numbers throughout the year are due in part to its online sales model, which means it is less reliant than its competitors on physical dealerships.
Although the automotive market as a whole was hit in 2020, sales of electric vehicles surged, increasing their share from 1.5% to 6.5%. "If we see this continued level of uptake in electric vehicles, then we anticipate that sales of new EVs and plug-in hybrids will overtake diesel cars in 2021," said Ian Plummer, commercial director of Auto Trader. "Then, pure EVs will overtake those of their internal combustion engine counterparts in 2026."
Tesla continues to develop, building factories around the world. In 2021, the company's European plant will begin production of the highly anticipated Model Y. This will give Europeans the opportunity to purchase the highly desired crossover, and at a much lower price than if it were imported. The reduced price and overall popularity of SUVs will lead to unprecedented growth in Tesla's sales, not only in the UK, but in Europe and globally.
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