Tesla Model 3 remained Norway’s top-selling car in the third quarter

Tesla Model 3 remained Norway’s top-selling car in the third quarter, although its sales declined from earlier in the year, registration data showed on Tuesday.

Tesla sold 3,300 Model 3s in Norway in July-September, beating Volkswagen’s Golf by some 900 cars. But the Model 3 total was down from 6,123 in the first quarter and 4,438 in the second, according to the Norwegian Road Federation, reports Reuters.

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Seeking to end the sale of diesel and petrol engines by the middle of next decade, Norway exempts battery-powered cars from taxes imposed on fossil fuel vehicles.

Tesla Model 3

Introduced to most European markets in early 2019, Tesla’s mid-sized Model 3 sedan quickly became a bestseller in the Nordic nation, helping the country retain its top global ranking in per-capita electric vehicle sales.

Tesla is counting on the Model 3, which is cheaper than its larger Model S and Model X, to transform it from a loss-prone niche player to a profitable heavyweight in the auto industry.

Last week, an internal email said the U.S. company had “a shot” at delivering 100,000 cars globally in the July-September quarter, industry journal Electrek reported.

Sales of the S and X models, meanwhile, have declined in Norway this year, as some buyers have opted for the cheaper Model 3, while others have chosen recently introduced all-electric SUVs from Audi and Jaguar Land Rover.

In September, 54.5% of all new cars sold in Norway were fully electric, up from 45.3% in the same month last year and beating the 31.2% of registrations for the whole of 2018.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which includes more widely-sold plug-in hybrids when counting electric cars, measured Norway’s share at 46% of sales in 2018, while most major nations were still in the low-to-mid single digits.

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