Tesla’s Irish income rises driven by sales surge for Model 3

Sales of €15m last year were up €4m on 2018 but analysts warn of future risks for brand

The arrival of the new Model 3 has greatly boosted the brand’s Irish sales. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

The arrival of the new Model 3 has greatly boosted the brand’s Irish sales. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

 

The Irish operation of electric car maker Tesla recorded sales of €15 million last year, up by €4 million on 2018.

Elon Musk’s automotive business operates one dealership in the Republic, in Sandyford Industrial Estate, which sold 270 new cars in 2019, compared with 120 the previous year.

The arrival of the more affordable Model 3 family saloon drove the growth, accounting for 187 of last year’s new Tesla registrations. Of these 131 were registered in November, making it the best-selling new car on the Irish market that month.

Up to the end of May this year, despite the coronavirus lockdown, Tesla has sold 416 new cars, again driven by deliveries of 398 new Model 3 family saloons. It has overtaken premium rivals such as Lexus and Jaguar and outsold mainstream brands such as Citroën and Mitsubishi.

The Model 3 starts at €47,840 after government incentives, while prices for the brand’s other two cars on sale here – the Model S and Model X – start at €90,000 and above.

Operating profit last year for Tesla’s Irish operation was €316,151, up from €174,129 in 2018, while profit before tax was €234,591, up from €173,920, according to accounts for Tesla Motors Ireland Ltd for the year ended December 31st, 2019. The company had 12 employees, with staff costs for the year of €887,076 – an average of just under €74,000.

Despite its share price exceeding $1,000 (€886) last week, some analysts have warned of emerging risks ahead for the car company. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas cited price cuts across Tesla’s model range in China and the US, suggesting new car markets were not coming out of the coronavirus pandemic as strongly as before. An even greater threat is a simmering trade row between China and the US, two critical markets for the brand, he said. Goldman Sachs also downgraded the company’s stock to “neutral”.