Spectators take photo of the Tesla Model 3 at an event in Tokyo in March. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Although Tesla is still leading the global electric vehicle market, Asian manufacturers are threatening its dominance, according to South Korean consultancy SNE Research.
The business tracker said Thursday that Tesla sold 615,600 electric cars during the first nine months of this year, up from 90.2 percent from a year ago, for a market share of 20.7 percent.
China's SAIC Motor, in second place, saw its sales more than triple at 400,700 cars, followed by Volkswagen Group with 283,000 cars.
China's BYD Group took fourth place with 189,500 cars, followed by South Korea's Hyundai Motor-Kia with 159,800 and Stellantis Group with 136,900.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance placed second last year but slumped to seventh place this year as the sales of its ZOE model fell.
As for sales for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, SNE Research said Volkswagen Group was the top seller during the January-September period, followed by BYD Group.
A PHEV is a hybrid electric car that uses batteries to power its electric motor while drawing on another fuel, like gasoline, to power its internal combustion engine.
"Chinese EV makers may nudge past Tesla in the market in the near future thanks to the country's huge domestic demand," Daelim University automotive Professor Kim Pil-soo told UPI News Korea.
"However, Chinese products lack competitiveness in more mature markets like the United States and Europe. Tesla, Volkswagen and Hyundai will do much better there," he said.