For the first time in history the most popular new car across the planet is electric. Tesla sold more than 1.2 million Model Ys in 2023 to put it ahead of Toyota’s RAV4 which had sales of 1.07 million and Corolla which found 1.01 million buyers.
Topping the charts in Europe and China enabled the Model Y to lead the field in total world sales, despite it sitting in only fifth place in the United States, behind the RAV4, and the heavyweight Dodge, Chevy and Ford pickups that America loves so much.
Overall, more than 456,000 Model Ys were sold in China, representing a 45 per cent increase on 2022, more than 255,000 Model Ys found homes in Europe, and almost 386,000 hit the road in the USA. As a result the Model Y counted for two-thirds of all Teslas sold globally.
Much of the success can be attributed to an extremely aggressive pricing strategy which saw Tesla slashing the cost of a Model Y by as much as £8,000 to undercut rivals. “The price cuts over the course of the year, combined with Tesla’s reputation as a reliable and competitive EV manufacturer, helped to fuel already high demand,” explained JATO Dynamics analyst, Felipe Munoz who crunched the numbers. “As a result, Tesla is front of mind for many consumers looking to purchase an EV.”
Tesla had to increase production at its plant in Berlin – which only makes the Model Y – to 375,000 units, while in Shanghai, China almost one million Model Ys and Model 3s were built.
“Today the best-selling vehicle on the planet is an EV,” Tesla reported during its fourth-quarter earnings call. For those who still believe the world is not ready for the switch to electric cars these numbers paint a rather different picture.