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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 January 2019

Tesla getting closer to Model 3 approval for sale in Europe

Car maker is targeting BMW 3-Series and Volkswagen Golf with its sedan

Tesla Model 3 on display in Los Angeles. AFP
Tesla Model 3 on display in Los Angeles. AFP

Tesla is yet to obtain approval from authorities in Europe to begin selling the Model 3 in the region, though this isn’t expected to impede the car maker from starting deliveries next month.

The company has been working in close collaboration with authorities and expects to receive certification after some personnel return from the holidays, a source told Bloomberg. This timing is in line with what Tesla has been targeting for months.

Starting Model 3 deliveries in Europe is a key priority for chief executive Elon Musk. He has pointed to sales of the sedan in Europe and China as a main reason he is not concerned about any possible setback caused by the US federal tax credit.

Tesla is targeting BMW 3-Series and Volkswagen Golf with its Model 3. While pickup trucks and sports utility vehicles account for about 70 per cent of US vehicle sales, Europeans still favour cars.

“We are excited to bring Model 3 to Europe and China early next year, given that the market for midsize premium sedans in those regions is even larger than in North America,” Mr Musk said during an earnings call in October.

Tesla previously obtained approval for safety, noise, environmental and production requirements through the Dutch regulator known as RDW. Under EU rules, once a car maker’s new vehicle has been certified by one national authority, the approval is applicable across the trade bloc.

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The company has started receiving systems-type approval for components of the vehicle and is awaiting whole-vehicle-type approval, which is expected to be imminent, the source told Bloomberg.

Therese de Vroomen, a spokeswoman for RDW, said the vehicle authority does not provide information about its approval process.

Concerns about the shrinking US tax credit and Tesla’s decision to cut prices by $2,000 to partially offset the lower incentive sent the car maker’s shares plunging 9.7 per cent during the first two trading days of the year. The company also reported fourth-quarter deliveries on Wednesday that fell just short of analysts’ estimates.

Updated: January 6, 2019 03:29 PM

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