Tesla's manufacturing machinery is getting stronger everyday, according to the sales of electric cars that it reaped last year, the year in which it reached amazing annual production and sales records. At this point, no one doubts the success of the Tesla Model 3 or the Model Y, but with the latest data available we basically get to know the huge success is confirmed: Tesla's electric SUV has slipped into the top five best-selling cars in the world, that is, ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars included in the count.
Going back in time. and after overcoming some production problems at the beginning of its market launch, the Tesla Model 3 became the best-selling electric car in the world in only a few months. Later on, the arrival of the Tesla Model Y replicated the success of the saloon model, and is even already surpassing the Model 3 in many market, as figures clearly show.
The Model Y formula seemed easy enough: same technology as in the Model 3, but with an SUV-like body, which is the body of choice for most customers as of today. With the Shanghai Gigafactory in full swing, 2022 was the year of Tesla's "small" SUV. The Model Y became the fourth best-selling car in the world, with almost 759,000 units sold worldwide, according to Focus2Move data.
This makes the Tesla Model Y one of the Top 10 cars in terms of worldwide sales and the first electric car to ever reach such a milestone. To put it into perspective, Tesla's SUV outperformed cars such as the Toyota Camry or the Honda CR-V, two of the most popular ICE models . This is a clear sign that electric cars have reached the mainstream, putting the future of the automotive industry in green numbers. What's more, the Model Y will keep moving up that ranking as Tesla has already reached a production of 8,000 units per week.
The list of best selling cars in the world in 2022 is as follows:
Toyota Corolla: 1.12 million (-2.2%)
Toyota RAV4: 871,220 (-13.7%)
Ford F-Series: 786,303 (-8.8%)
Tesla Model Y: 758,792 (+88.5%)
Toyota Camry: 676,845 (-2.7%)
Honda CR-V: 602,675 (-17.8%)
Chevrolet Silverado: 591,594 (+1.8%)
Hyundai Tucson: 565,100 (+1.2%)
Toyota Hilux: 564,759 (+2.7%)
Ram 1500: 545,423 (-15.4%)
A Tesla model managed to position itself among the five best-selling cars in the world; overall, that is, including all types of energy sources (electric, hybrid, thermal (ICE), etc.). The very fact that there is an electric model among the five best-selling cars globally throughout a full year is particularly relevant, since it is the first time that it has happened in the history of car manufacturing. The Model Y left behind models as popular as the Toyota Camry or the Honda CR-V.
Many other media sources also echoed the inclusion of the Tesla Model 3 in the top 10, but it is not actually correct: according to official Tesla data, 1,247,146 units of the Model 3 and Model Y were delivered in 2022. Taking into account the sales of the Model Y, the Tesla Model 3 managed to register 488,354 units in 2022, which undoubtedly leaves it out of the top ten list. However, there is no official data in this regard. This could easily be avoided in the future if the Austin, Texas brand specified which figures specifically correspond to each model; but in its reports so far it basically groups both models altogether.
Taking into account the growing trend in Model Y sales, it would not be surprising if this 2023 ends up positioning itself as the third best-selling car in the world, even ahead of Ford's pick-up truck, which has been the most popular model sold in the United States for more than four decades. Given the success of the Model Y in other markets such as China and Europe, in the global calculation it is very likely that Tesla's electric SUV will manage to further climb positions in the ranking. Elon Musk himself pointed out that it could become the best-selling car in 2023; only time will tell.
In conclusion, 2022 marks the Year of the Tesla Model Y, the first electric car to ever enter the Top 10 global sales. The success of the electric SUV confirms that Tesla's surge in the market is here to stay , as automakers are investing heavily in the electrification of their fleets, both in Europe and in the US, but also in China.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.