Apr 2 at 11:37
By John D. Stoll
Tesla Motors' hot streak in its No. 2 market Norway gained additional
steam in March, with its electric Model S sedan breaking the previous record for
monthly sales of a single model--regardless of how it is powered--in the small
The Silicon Valley-based maker of electric cars sold 1,493 Model S sedans
to Norwegians in March, according to registrations reported by Norwegian
transportation officials, more than double its typical monthly sales in Norway
and well in excess of volumes typical for the top monthly seller in that market.
Tesla, like Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., has looked to the
Scandinavian nation as one of the most important markets for electric cars in
Volkswagen AG's Golf was the second-best seller during the period, with
Norway, with just 5 million residents, has caught the attention of the
global auto industry due to its aggressive drive to incentivize green vehicle
The nation, enriched by a booming oil and gas industry, offers electric-
vehicle owners generous tax incentives and Norway is dotted with stations where
drivers of these cars can charge up for free. In addition, many municipalities
allow green vehicles access to high-speed driving lanes or free charging and
parking in city lots.
The Nissan Leaf was Norway's top seller in February, by comparison, with
deliveries reaching 484 cars. In March 2013, Volkswagen sold 555 Golfs, making
it the top seller during that period.
Tesla's March performance topped Norway's previous single-market record,
which dates back to 1986 when the Ford Motor Co. sold 1,454 Sierra sedans in a
single month. Subaru's Forrester fell just short of that mark in 1992 with
Tesla has four dealers in Norway, including a pair in Oslo and two more on
the west coast. It raced to the top of Norway's automotive market in September,
shortly after going on sale, and has remained wildly popular even as some in the
nation have criticized the government for handing out tax incentives for a
vehicle considered to be a significant luxury.
Esben Petersen, a Tesla spokesman, said "Norway is a small country and
there is huge demand for our cars." He said the nation is a leader when it comes
to per capita demand for electric cars.
The auto maker, however, has hit speed bumps despite its popularity. In
February, Chief Executive Elon Musk apologized to customers for an issue that
made it hard for owners to charge their cars due to a Tesla adapter that didn't
properly interact with the Norwegian grid.