Tesla Model Y is now the world’s best-selling car

According to data compiled by Jato Dynamics for Motor1, Tesla’s Model Y electric vehicle (EV) has achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the best-selling car worldwide in the first quarter of 2023. This milestone is significant as it marks the first time that a fully-electric car has surpassed all other global vehicle sales.

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Jato Dynamics collects sales data directly from 53 major markets, utilizing official statistics or forecasts for an additional 31 markets, and estimating sales in the remaining regions. Their analysis reveals that Tesla sold 267,200 Model Y units in the first quarter of the year, reflecting a notable 69% increase compared to the same period in 2022. China accounted for 35% of the Model Y sales, while 31% were in the United States. The Model Y also claimed the top-selling position in Europe during this quarter.

The Model Y’s triumph outpaced the Toyota Corolla, a highly popular car that achieved a global sales figure of 256,400 units across its sedan, wagon, and hatchback variants. The Corolla is sold under different names like Levin, Allion, or Lingshang in specific markets. In China and the US, the Corolla’s quarterly sales experienced declines of 29% and 10% respectively.

Securing the third position was the Toyota Hilux, a dominant player in South Africa’s sales market, with 214,700 units sold. However, Toyota as a brand continued to maintain its dominance, with two more of its models, the RAV4 (known as Wildlander in some countries) and the Camry, rounding off the top five.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had predicted in August 2022 that the Model Y would become the world’s best-selling new car in 2023. In the previous year, it held the third position globally, trailing behind the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota RAV4. Recently, Tesla reduced the price of the Model Y multiple times, along with its other vehicle models. The price cuts have had a positive impact on sales, particularly in the US, where the reduced prices allowed both the all-wheel and long-range versions of the Model Y to qualify for a federal vehicle tax credit of $7,500. This incentive likely contributed to further sales growth.

Tesla’s continued price adjustments have extended into the second quarter, with the introduction of a new entry-level version of the Model Y priced at $46,990. Taking into account the tax credit, the effective cost of the car is now $39,490. It remains to be seen whether Tesla can sustain its momentum and make the Model Y the world’s top-selling car for the entire year.