As a percentage of total market share, electric cars are more popular in Norway than anywhere else in the world. So it’s no wonder Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) made the country the focus of its global expansion plans early on.
It’s been 12 months since the company began delivering its Model S sedans to Norwegian customers, and it looks like Tesla did well to focus on Norway.
According to OFV, Norway’s automotive industry association, the California electric car manufacturer has sold an average of 436 Tesla Model S sedans a month for the past year, up from about 357 units a month last November. Since the car went on sale in the third quarter of 2012 the company has sold about 1,630 units a month in the United States.
But as the chart above shows, the deliveries have been volatile. In January Tesla delivered 132 vehicles to Norwegian customers while two months later that volume jumped to nearly 1,500. This doesn’t mean Norwegians are buying Model S sedans at odd intervals. This chart depicts Tesla’s supply constraint in action.
All Tesla cars are manufactured at the company’s Fremont, California, factory. Kits are then sent to Europe where final assembly takes place at Tesla’s Tilburg, Netherlands, facility. So while Tesla is busy filling orders in the U.S. and sending cars to Asia, it seems cars are being sent in batches to fill Norwegian orders.
Norway is an ideal market for Tesla because of the country’s embrace of electric vehicles, the fact that it’s a wealthy country and because the government heavily taxes gasoline-burning luxury cars. Because the Model S is electric, Tesla can take advantage of a Norwegian tax regime that makes the Model S the least expensive luxury sedan in the market. At half the total price of comparable luxury cars like the Porsche Panamera S or the Audi S6, a Model S bought in Norway is a bargain.
Tesla recently shut down manufacturing for two weeks in order to expand capacity, which is running at about 800 cars a week, according to the company’s recent financial statement.