Tesla first started selling electric vehicles in 2010, at the time, the first-generation Roadster was a big hit but was largely dismissed by skeptics as a toy for rich people. Most people saw the electric sports car as a product that would not compete with internal combustion vehicles in any meaningful way.
After that, Tesla started selling the Model S which was also a big hit, however, like the Roadster, the Model S was also regarded as a niche vehicle for the wealthy. Skeptics said the Model S is nice but Tesla can’t compete in the mass market.
Then Tesla released the Model 3 with a price point closer to the average new vehicle selling price in the US. You would think that will finally convince the naysayers however, now the argument changed to – the Model 3 is nice but there is no way Tesla can produce it in numbers that will make a dent in ICE vehicle sales.
After a lot of pain, Tesla finally scaled Model 3 production to a rate of several hundred thousand vehicles a year. This was surely the end of Tesla is not a mass market producer argument however, there was one last argument that could still be made.
And the last argument was, the sedan market is a shrinking segment, no wonder Tesla was able to be successful in sedans however, Tesla won’t have a chance in the expanding crossover market.
And then came the Model Y. Currently Tesla is producing the Model Y in 4 factories on 4 continents. Tesla’s newest factory in Austin, Texas produces a refreshed version of the Model Y with 4680 cells and a structural battery pack.
However, Giga Texas is in its early days of ramping up the refreshed Model Y and as of now doesn’t make up any meaningful portion of Model Y sales for Tesla.
Still, even before the breakthrough developments in the new battery chemistry and architecture come into play, the current Model Y has been taking market share from its ICE competitors.
And recently, according to sales numbers released by China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), in the Month of February, the Model Y has become the best-selling SUV in China be it battery electric or internal combustion.
Top SUV sellers (NEV or ICE) in Feb in China: 1/ Model Y: 25,7892/ BYD Yuan Plus: 20,7843/ BYD Song Plus: 20,1504/ AION Y: 13,7355/ HAVEL H6: 13,418Keep in mind #5 used to be #1 for many years in the past. pic.twitter.com/GSwps6yYa8— Ray (@ray4tesla) March 16, 2023
In February Tesla sold a total of 25,279 Model Y’s in China. Not only was this number enough to make the Model Y the most-sold electric SUV but it also made it the best-selling SUV overall even counting internal combustion vehicles (ICE).
What is even more impressive is that the Model Y beat vehicles in sales that have a starting price significantly below that of the all-electric crossover.
This was an incredible performance on Tesla’s part and is yet another proof supporting Elon Musk’s prior statements predicting that the Model Y will be the best-selling vehicle in the world even when compared to internal combustion vehicles.
As of now, the Model Y’s February performance is impressive, however, it’s still significantly down from June 2022 when Tesla delivered 52,000 Model Y’s in a single month. However, given the recent price cuts, Tesla sales are picking up all around the world and we will be sure to keep you updated on the all-electric crossover’s future performance.
Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Excited to learn the Model Y has become the best-selling SUV in China? Also, do you think, the Model Y can reclaim its best-overall-selling vehicle status in China? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Image: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
For more information check out: Elon Musk Predicts Tesla Monopoly: How Tesla Gets Around It
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.