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Tesla Model Y becomes first EV ever to be the world’s best-selling car

Published May 26th, 2023 12:58PM EDT
Image: Tesla

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Tesla’s Model Y is now the world’s best-selling car in the world. Notably, the achievement marks the first time that an all-electric car has occupied the number one sales spot in the rankings. All told, it’s an impressive achievement not only for Tesla, but also for a vehicle that was initially unveiled just a little more than four years ago.

For some, the Model Y’s ascension to the top spot was an inevitability. The Model Y has been steadily climbing the sales rankings since its release and finished in the third spot last year. Coupled with ongoing price cuts to the Model Y, it’s perhaps not surprising that demand for Tesla’s crossover vehicle has been robust. Today, the entry-level Model Y costs $47,490 while the Model Y Long Range model starts at $50,490.

Motor1 relays that during the first quarter of 2023, Tesla sold 267,200 units of the Model Y, which comes out to a year-over-year increase of 69%. And speaking to the popularity of the Model Y, sales of the car increased across all geographic regions.

Elon Musk predicted this

If Tesla can keep its sales momentum strong, the company would be on pace to eclipse more than 1 million units in sales for the year. And if you recall, Elon Musk all the way back in 2016 predicted the Model Y would eventually hit that mark.

“To be clear,” Musk said nearly seven years ago, “the priority vehicle development after the Model 3 would be the Model Y, the compact SUV, because that’s also a car that we expect to see demand in the 500k to 1 million unit per year level.”

As for the other best-selling cars on the list, Toyota’s Corolla occupied the number two spot with 256,400 units sold for the quarter. And coming in third through fifth are the Toyota Hilux, Toyota RAV4, and the Toyota Camry.

Model Y quality control issues remain

All in all, the Model Y appears to be on a strong trajectory despite some concerns about quality control. To this point, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently began investigating reports that the steering wheel on some Model Y vehicles is prone to falling off.

One excerpt from the report reads in part:

In one complaint filed with NHTSA, an owner said he was driving with his family on Route 1 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, when the steering wheel suddenly came off on Jan. 29, five days after the vehicle was purchased. The owner wrote that there were no cars behind him, and he was able to pull toward the road divider. There were no injuries.

Needless to say, these quality control issues don’t appear to be stopping people from buying the Model Y.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.