Like Tesla’s enormous market capitalization, the outsized mind share of the California carmaker is hard to reconcile with its true market share. A look at the sales data shows that noisy Tesla is quietly being outsold by the true pioneer in the electric vehicle field, the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The Alliance may get no respect from a media that hangs on to every Musk tweet, but it sure gets the customers.
In the first quarter of 2017, the Renault-Nissan Alliance moved nearly 37,000 electric vehicles, per data supplied by the automakers. That is some 12,000 units, or nearly 50%, more than the 25,000 electric vehicles Tesla said were shipped by the company in the first quarter.
An even bigger surprise: Nissan’s aging Leaf outsold Tesla’s likewise long-in-the-tooth Model S. The Leaf remained the world’s best-selling electric vehicle in the first quarter. It is hardly a secret that the Leaf is to be replaced soon by a completely new model with more range, a pleasing design, and with the semi-autonomous ProPilot package Nissan introduced with its Serena minivan last year. Considering the model change, one would expect Leaf sales to go down, but just the opposite is true. Last March, the outgoing Leaf even outsold Tesla’s Model X in Norway, the Shangri-La of electric cars, noted car counter Jose Pontes wrote.
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