Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been one of the few companies that have been regularly in the news in the recent times and for good reasons.
This time the electric car maker has bagged the number one spot in North America’s rechargeable auto sales so far this year. The company’s Model S sedan overtook General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s Chevrolet Volt to claim the top spot, reports Bloomberg.
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The luxury battery-car company, which will come up with its first quarter earnings report on May 8, expects to sell at least 4,750 Model S in the U.S. and Canada, says Shanna Hendriks, a company spokeswoman. The number exceeds the 4,421 units of Volt in North America and 3,695 of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (PINK:NSANY) (TYO:7201)’s Leaf. The plug-in hybrid Volt was the leader in regional sales last year.
The company, led by billionaire Elon Musk, started selling the Model S in mid-2012, with a price tag of $69,900, and is still to venture beyond North America. In a single charge, the car runs for 300 miles (483 kilometers). Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) plans to sell 20,000 cars this year, which are manufactured in Fremont, California.
Both General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Nissan sold 30,000 rechargeable models worldwide each last year. For the current year, there are still no figures revealed by either veteran companies yet.
The largest car maker in the U.S., General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) produced about 9,000 Volts and plug-in Opel Amperas in the first quarter to be sold in Europe. In its home market, the car maker sold 4,244 Volts in the first three months of this year. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (PINK:NSANY) (TYO:7201) Leaf’s deliveries fell earlier this year as the Japanese based company shifted production for North America to its Smyrna, Tennessee, plant. For March, the sales of Leaf hit a record in the U.S. at 2236 units.
According to an analyst, though Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s quarterly lead is “interesting trivia,” over time it will be Volt with higher numbers. Among all the cars in the plug-in segment, Volt is the best as it can be used like a normal car when the battery runs out, added the analyst. Tesla, when compared to General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (PINK:NSANY) (TYO:7201), is relatively small, and this puts it under financial pressure. The auto sector is a capital intensive industry that requires constant funding to improve the existing models and develop new ones, and a small company like Tesla can’t afford that, says the analyst.
Tesla’s stock has gained 54 percent this year compared to an 11 percent increase for the Russell 1000 Index. Yesterday, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s stock closed at $52, which was the highest since the shares were listed in 2010.