In the second quarter of 2019, the Tesla Model 3 was again the only premium-class car on the top 10 ranking of US car sales. According to official figures from automakers and CleanTechnica’s estimate for US Tesla sales, the Model 3 was the 9th best selling car in the country in the quarter. (Note that this ranking excludes “light trucks” — pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.)
The 8 models above the Model 3 are high selling models from Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, as well as the Ford Fusion and Hyundai Elantra. The base prices of all of these models are more than $10,000 lower than the base price of the Model 3. On the surface, that would make it surprising that the Model 3 ranks so highly, but most Tesla owners probably find it a surprising abomination that the Model 3 wasn’t the top selling car in the country. There are a few key reasons for that.
The Model 3 accelerates like a hurricane wind, has tech as cool as The Fonz, is as safe as a tank, is as smooth as Sade, and can even do algebra (well, I presume it can). Furthermore, and very importantly, the Model 3 can have a total cost of ownership comparable to the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, or Ford Fusion. When you can buy a car that is so much better than any of those options — in basically every category people care about — it’s simply astonishing that so many consumers continue to buy these other cars.
However, the reason is simple. Not enough people are aware of the Model 3, and even far fewer people have experienced a Model 3. As new owners show their cars to family members, friends, and coworkers, expect Tesla sales to continue rising. Expect it to compete better and better amidst the other cars in the top 10 as they see their sales decrease.
The question is fundamentally about how long it takes for word of the Model 3 and experience driving or riding in it to spread.
All of that said, the #9 spot is no small achievement for such a young company and such a young car model. I wonder if any other model has so quickly secured a spot in the top 10 in the past few decades.
Further resources on the Model 3:
- #1, #2, #3 — Tesla Model 3, S, & X = USA’s Safest Cars
- Tesla Model 3 vs. BMW 230i, 330i, 440i, & i3s
- Nissan Altima & Maxima vs. Tesla Model 3 — Cost Comparisons Over 5 Years
- Toyota Corolla vs. Tesla Model 3 — Cost Comparisons Over 5 Years
- Tesla Model 3 Performance Is A Freakin’ Race Car — Unbeatable
- Sorry, Elon — Tesla Model 3 Much Better Than I Expected (#CleanTechnica Review)