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CleanTechnica Forecast: Tesla Model 3 Will Be #2 Top Selling Light Vehicle In California In 2018

The Tesla Model 3 was the 15th best selling light vehicle in California in the first half of 2018. I’m forecasting that it will be #2 for the year as a whole.

The Tesla Model 3 was the 15th best selling light vehicle in California in the first half of 2018. I’m forecasting that it will be #2 for the year as a whole.

Our friend Troy Teslike recently noted that you can get detailed automobile registration numbers from California via the California Auto Outlook. The problem is, it takes a long time for those reports to come out after the end of the quarter.

The last report covers Q2 2018. We have just a month and a half to wait till the end of 2018 and Tesla’s Q4 delivery figures are announced, but it will be several months before we get full-year California auto registration data.

I’m impatient, so I’m jumping out here right now and am going to make a prediction. Based on numbers from the first half of 2018 and expectations for Tesla sales and other auto sales in the second half of 2018, I’m forecasting that the Tesla Model 3 will end up the 2nd best selling light vehicle in California in 2018.

That’s right — not the 2nd best selling car, but the 2nd best selling light vehicle. That said, pickup trucks don’t seem to do as well in California as they do nationwide. The top selling light vehicle in California in the first half of 2018 was the Honda Civic (a car). With nearly 44,000 registrations, it was more than 12,000 registrations above the #2 Toyota Camry and nearly 20,000 more than the #3 Ford F Series.

The Model 3 sat at 12,674 registrations in the first half of 2018, which already put the car in a pretty solid position in the state. In fact, it led the “Near Luxury” class, with 21% of that segment’s sales. Overall, the Model 3 was the 15th best selling light vehicle in the state in the first half of the year.

However, as we all know, Tesla Model 3 production has been much stronger in the second half of 2018 than in the first half. Presumably, a high portion of sales remain California sales (where I hear you see several Model 3s on your doorstep every time you go outside).

If you estimate 60,000 Model 3 deliveries in California in the second half of the year, that leaves the car with ~73,000 registrations for the year as a whole. The only model that would surpass that if you doubled its January–June 2018 registrations would be the Honda Civic (43,857 × 2 = 87,714). The #2 Toyota Camry would total ~63,000. The #3 Honda Accord would reach ~56,000.

There’s plenty of room for variation in forecasts of the Model 3’s California sales, but my forecast falls pretty solidly between the current #1 Civic and #2 Camry, so I’m projecting that the car will end up squeaking out a silver medal in 2018.

One final interesting note to make is that two of the five cars most traded in for the Model 3 have been the Civic and the Accord. Presumably, the Model 3 has not only been pulling California sales from luxury brands but also from top Honda and Toyota models. With that in mind, it’s hard to not think that the Model 3 is dampening Honda and Toyota sales, helping in the 3’s rise up toward #1. We’ll see how that hypothesis holds up over time.

What’s your take on all of this? Where will Tesla Model 3 California deliveries end up? What about other top selling vehicles? What position will the Model 3 take on or off the podium?

If you’re looking to buy a Tesla, appreciate my work, and need a referral code, here you go: http://ts.la/tomasz7234

 
 
 
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Written By

Zach 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 Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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