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Can the Tesla Model Y Outsell the Toyota Corolla?

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The Toyota Corolla has been around for a long time and has been through much iteration. It was just recently being relaunched in Australia as a hybrid electric compact utility vehicle. Like the VW Beetle, owners tend to hang onto the old ones and even keep one in the backyard for spare parts. One of my neighbours has four — one she drives and three for bits. You know, to be sure, to be sure.

It wasn’t that long ago that forecasters were running a deathwatch on Tesla. Then it was checking every Model 3 being produced and noting that Elon was sleeping on the factory floor. Now they are tracking the rise and rise of the Model Y. “BloombergNEF estimates that the company sold around 200,000 Model Ys in the third quarter, bringing the total so far this year to more than 500,000.” They note that Tesla is on track to produce and sell almost 800,000 Model Ys this year. Please note that the new factories which produce only Model Ys in Berlin and Austin have still not ramped to their full capacity. 

The 2021 leaderboard included the Tesla Model 3 as the 9th highest selling vehicle, globally. For obvious reasons, the Model Y did not make the top ten. The number one position was shared equally by the Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota Corolla at 1.1 million units sold. So, you can see why (pun intended) I am getting excited. Not only will the Tesla Model Y be highly likely to beat that figure in 2023, but it is also possible that there will be defections from Toyota to Tesla, further widening the gap.

BloombergNEF estimates that in 2022 the Tesla Model Y will come in at number 4 (behind the Toyota Corolla, RAV4, and the Honda CRV). In 2023, it may fulfill Elon’s prediction and become the highest selling vehicle in the world. Quite an achievement when the Y is 3 times the price of the Corolla, made by a brash new EV startup which has had to face a headwind of FUD (sometimes spread by the aforementioned Toyota).

This is a great time to be watching the EV vs ICE showdown.

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Tesla Sales in 2023, 2024, and 2030

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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