Tesla Model Y is the New King of Worldwide Car Sales

Motor1 numbers tesla model y

In a groundbreaking shift within the automotive industry, Tesla’s Model Y has risen to the top of global sales rankings, marking the first time an all-electric vehicle has achieved such a distinction.

According to combined data from JATO and other key global markets, this mid-size SUV from Tesla was the top-selling vehicle during the first quarter of the year, reports Motor1.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, during the company’s annual shareholders meeting in August 2022, predicted this surge, stating that the Model Y was on track to become the best-selling new vehicle worldwide in 2023. At the time, many viewed Musk’s projections as overly optimistic, especially considering the SUV’s high average price.

However, Musk’s ambitious vision has been realized due to strategic price reductions and a notable expansion of Tesla’s global market presence. The Model Y has seen a steep rise in demand, having been the third best-selling car in the previous year.

It trailed behind two seasoned heavyweights: the Toyota Corolla and Toyota RAV4. Tesla’s Model Y recorded sales of 747,500 units, marking a massive 91 percent increase from 2021.

The Tesla Model Y has significantly closed the gap with its competition, with sales in the first quarter reaching 267,200 units, a substantial jump of approximately 69 percent from the same period in 2022. The vehicle’s success story is particularly evident in China, its key market, as well as in the United States and Europe, where the Model Y became the best-selling vehicle.

On the other hand, Toyota’s Corolla, a traditionally dominant player and a global product, has seen sales decline to 256,400 units. This decrease includes a 29 percent fall in China and a 10 percent drop in the United States.

The remainder of the top five global sales positions is occupied by other Toyota models: Hilux, RAV4, and Camry. While the RAV4 and Camry are geared towards developed markets, the Hilux continues to be a top pick in emerging economies. It’s in these markets, which account for a fifth of global vehicle sales, where Tesla’s expansion has room to grow.

Tesla’s Gigafactories have been pumping out Model Y units like gangbusters, particularly Giga Shanghai. The latter is now shifting production of Model Y RWD models for export to Canada, along with Model 3 Long Range as well. This strategic move is so Tesla can leverage its American factory production to qualify for federal incentives.

Yesterday, we learned Tesla has started bringing its latest Hardware 4 to the Model Y, coming from Giga Texas. This expands the newest hardware beyond the Model S and Model X.