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Published on September 6th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan


Tesla Model 3 = 5th Best Selling Car In United States

September 6th, 2018 by  

Three weeks ago, I published that I expected the Tesla Model 3 would be the 5th best selling car in the United States in August. That has now been confirmed*.

I figured I’d write an update this weekend, but I also figured we wouldn’t get any comments from Tesla providing solid sales data for the month, so it would all remain a bit speculative. Our friend Troy of Teslike has estimated that 16,945 Model 3s were produced in August. If you round up, you get 17,000, which may be higher or lower than the month’s delivery total, but shouldn’t be very far off of it. Well, InsideEVs estimated 17,800 Model 3 sales in the US in August and Tesla CEO Elon Musk agreed enough with that total that he retweeted a story from the outlet highlighting that Tesla outsold BMW’s car sales last month in the country. (That’s also something I predicted a couple of weeks ago would happen. See: “Tesla USA Sales Might Be Higher Than BMW USA Sales In August.”)

For my monthly estimate, I’ll still stick with the lower 17,000 figure for extra caution. That still puts Tesla Model 3 sales well ahead of BMW car sales.

Pulling in other car sales data from Good Car Bad Car as I normally do, it’s clear the Tesla Model 3 is solidly the #5 best selling car in the United States no matter what the precise August figure was. Adding in base prices for the top 10 cars, it’s also clear the Model 3 is by far the most expensive car on that list.

Car August Sales
Base Price Today
Toyota Camry 30,141 $23,495
Honda Civic 27,677 $18,940
Honda Accord 26,725 $23,570
Toyota Corolla 26,155 $18,600
Tesla Model 3 (est.) 17,000 $49,000
Hyundai Elantra 15,475 $16,950
Nissan Altima 14,925 $23,260
Nissan Sentra 13,314 $16,990
Ford Fusion 11,286 $22,215
Kia Optima 11,074 $16,800

This follows reports we’ve written after discovering that Tesla production appears to be passing up Jaguar production globally, Porsche sales globally, BMW sales in the USA, and combined brand sales of all models in or near the Model 3 class in the USA.

Shockingly, the mainstream media has not been covering these dramatic milestones in a young American car company’s evolution. Tesla started mass producing cars only 6 years ago, which makes its rise to the top of the charts today absolutely stunning. However, the mainstream media seems to think it’s more worthwhile to write long stories about brief off-hand tweets from Elon Musk than these sales successes.

Here at CleanTechnica, we’ve started tracking Tesla headlines in the mainstream media. This week so far, out of 63 headlines, we’ve found that 43 insinuate something negative about Tesla while only 9 offer positive implications for the company. Furthermore, there is not yet a single positive headline about Tesla sales.

There’s much more to write about these insane findings, but I’ll leave that for the weekend since it’s 4:00am here.

Publishing later this morning: Tesla Sales > Acura, Audi, BMW Car, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus Car, & Mercedes Car Sales In USA (August Sales)

*Note: We’re just talking cars, not SUVs or pickup trucks. If including SUVs & pickup trucks, the Model 3 appears to come in at #15. 


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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