In the first quarter of 2013, Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S sedan surpassed the sales of the Chevrolet Volt from General Motors Co. – the first time for Tesla to lead this segment. Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks said that the automaker predicts to sell at least 4,750 units of the electric Model S in the U.S. and Canada when it releases first-quarter results on May 8.
She is reiterating the estimate released on March 31. In comparison, 4,421 Volt units were sold in North America while there were 3,695 deliveries made of Nissan Motor Co.'s Leaf.
It’s the first time for Model S (Tesla’s flagship model) to be on top. Incidentally, Tesla had said previously that it will post its profit in the first quarter, its first ever during the past decade that it has been in existence.
In 2012, the plug-in hybrid Volt, which is equipped with both batteries and a gasoline engine, topped sales in the region. GM spokesman Jim Cain said that all manufacturers of plug-in vehicles benefit when any company in this segment achieves some success.
He added that to boost plug-in sales, the single most important thing” to do is for them to be seen on the road. In the middle of 2012, Tesla started to sell the Model S, which came with a base price of $69,900. So far, Tesla hasn’t shipped any of its sedans outside of North America.
Tesla claims that on a single charge, the vehicle can be driven 300 miles (483 kilometers). Tesla co-founder Elon Musk has set a target of making 20,000 deliveries this year. Last year, GM and Nissan each sold approximately 30,000 of their respective rechargeable models throughout the world in 2012.
The two companies declined to unveil their volume targets for the present year. The Leaf is an electric vehicle, just like the Model S. John Wolkonowicz, an independent auto analyst based in Boston, is optimistic that over time, Volt will outperform Tesla’s Model S.