You can keep Tesla away from the Norwegians for some time, but you cannot keep them away forever. After briefly losing the third biggest market status to the Netherlands in the third quarter of 2018, Norway pulled itself back to the third spot in the fourth quarter.
The number of Tesla’s registered in Norway has now gone past 30,000. Tesla has already sold 7,506 units this year and needs another 982 units to cross its 2017 sales record
With a supportive government in place, electric vehicle sales took off in Norway, increasing market share from 3% in 2012 to 39.2% by 2017.
Tesla closely followed suit. Increasing sales from less than 2,000 units in 2013 to more than 8,000 units in 2017.
But Tesla could have done a lot more in 2018 had the company bridged the gap between its service capacity and the fast-growing number of Teslas on the road. Long waiting times, delays in shipping parts and a thin service network forced Tesla to take action.
“Norwegians are right to be upset with Tesla. We are having trouble expanding our service facilities in Oslo especially. Can solve quickly with Tesla mobile service vans, but awaiting govt permission to do so, ” tweeted Elon Musk on July 6th, 2018
Musk blamed the Norway government for not granting the company permission to use mobile service vans, but the local government politely turned the blame on to the company.
Norway has rejected a suggestion it is holding up Tesla’s efforts to improve service in its third-biggest market, saying the electric carmaker has not yet applied to use the mobile service vans it says it needs to solve its problems. – Reuters
In the chaos, Tesla’s sales growth took a nice beating in the third quarter of 2018 as the company sold just 259 units in July and August.
Tesla nicely recovered with sales of 2016 units for September, but the fact that Tesla is looking at low single digit growth in a country where sales more than doubled in 2017 shows that Tesla has its work cut out in Norway.
How is Tesla addressing the issue:
Increased the size of service team in Norway by 30%
Extended service center hours
Expanding new workshop in Oslo
Continue talks with the government to launch it’s
mobile service fleet.
From Tesla email obtained by TEK.NO
At the time of writing this article, Tesla had only 11 service centers in Norway. Tesla still has time to improve service capacity because Model 3 deliveries are set to begin only in February 2019, and volumes won’t be that high as Tesla will be exporting high-end dual motor versions first.
2019 looks promising for Tesla in Norway. If the company can sell more than 8,000 units of Model S and X, it can easily aim twice or thrice that for Model 3. Musk announced recently that Tesla will open a lot of service centers next year and I am sure Norway will be at the top of that list.