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2023 Tesla Model Y, by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.


Best Selling Car Worldwide In Q1: The Tesla Model Y

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Last year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted that the Model Y would become the world’s best selling car in 2023. While the statement was considered a lofty goal at the time, it appears that the electric SUV was the best selling vehicle worldwide in Q1, marking the first electric vehicle in history to top global sales charts.

The Tesla Model Y was the best selling car in the world in the first quarter of 2023, according to JATO Dynamics data from 53 markets and official data from 31 other key markets, along with estimates for the rest of the world (h/t Motor1). The news, as penned by JATO analyst Felipe Munoz for Motor1, shows that demand grew for the electric SUV heading into the year, aided by Tesla price cuts and increasing expansion worldwide.

According to the data, Tesla sold 267,200 Model Y units in Q1, representing a 69 percent increase year over year. Following the Model Y were four Toyota vehicles — the Corolla, the Hilux pickup, the RAV4, and the Camry, in that order. The Toyota Corolla sold 256,400 units, while the Hilux pickup truck sold 214,700 units. Next was the RAV4 with 211,000, and then the Camry with 166,200.

Munoz notes that the difference between the two top vehicles’ Q1 sales is not very big, so it’s tough to say what may happen by the end of this year.

The Tesla Model Y performed particularly well in three markets in Q1: China, the US, and Europe. Comparatively, the Corolla’s Q1 sales show a roughly 29% drop in the Chinese market, and a 10% drop in the US. The current generation of the Corolla was released in March 2018, while the Model Y debuted just a year later in March 2019. So, the top two best selling cars in the world are not that different in age in this generation of them — of course, this is the Model Y’s first generation whereas the Corolla has been around for decades.

Last year, Tesla sold 747,500 Model Y units across 152 markets, marking a 91% increase from 2021. This landed the electric SUV the third spot on the top-selling vehicles list in 2022, behind the Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Corolla, which had 1,015,500 and 991,500 sales, respectively.

It’s worth noting that the Model Y isn’t available in every market around the world at this point, while the Corolla is available almost everywhere. He adds that this fact could make the Corolla less susceptible to any geopolitical issues between China and the US than the Model Y. Additionally, the Hilux is considered the top choice in emerging economies — in many cases, these are places where the Model Y isn’t available. These countries, Munoz notes, make up about a fifth of global vehicle sales.

Regardless, the Model Y seems to be on the up and up as the world shifts toward electric vehicles. While Musk was technically right about the Model Y for the first quarter of the year, the rest of 2023 will be telling as to whether the SUV could earn the best-selling title for the year as a whole.

Originally published on EVANNEX, by Peter McGuthrie.

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