Tesla Model Y confirmed as world’s best-selling car in 2023

Tesla Model Y

Andrea Matthews

Posted June 25, 2024

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV was the best-selling vehicle in the world in 2023, the first time an electric car has taken out the global title. Australia's two best-selling cars last year, the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux, also placed inside the top 30.

According to industry data specialists, Jato Dynamics, Tesla delivered 1.22 million Model Y SUVs in 2023, an increase of 64 per cent from 2022, and enough to claim the title of the world's top-selling car for the year - the first time for an electric car.

Pushed to fourth place, 2023 was the first time in 20 years that the Toyota Corolla wasn't the best-selling car in the world, reflecting shifting preferences to mid-size SUVs and electric cars.

The rest of the podium was also made up of medium SUVs, with the Toyota RAV4 taking out second place with 1.075 million units (up 5 per cent year-on-year), while the third-placed Honda CR-V realised 846,000 sales (up 18 per cent year-on-year).

The smaller Tesla Model 3 medium sedan was the tenth best-selling car worldwide, with just over half a million (508,000) units sold, up 5 per cent on 2022.

Australia's second-highest selling vehicle in 2023, the Toyota HiLux, placed eight globally, while the Ford Ranger came in at 27.

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y has a capacious boot with additional room under the boot floor and in the frunk

Tesla Model Y sales in Australia

The Tesla Model Y went on sale in Australia in 2022 and was the sixth best-selling car in 2023 according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), selling 28,769 units.

Combined with sales of the Model 3, Tesla sold a total of 46,116 vehicles last year, placing eighth for total vehicle sales in Australia in 2023.

The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 also topped the list of most popular novated lease cars last year, as the Federal Government's Electric Car Discount Policy provides a fringe benefits tax exemption for electric cars financed under a novated lease.

So far in 2024, Tesla sales are on a par with last year, but Model Y sales are down in comparison, reflecting increasing competition in the burgeoning medium SUV market. Availability of the Toyota RAV4 has improved, with sales of the model at 21,498 through May 2024, more than double the Model Y's 9610 sales according to the FCAI.

Reflecting the competition in the medium SUV segment from legacy nameplates including the Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander and Mazda CX-5, as well as the newly launched BYD Sealion 6 plug-in hybrid, Tesla has imposed two price reductions on the Model Y in recent months. Prices for the entry level Tesla Model Y peaked in June 2022 at $72,300 plus on-road costs but the equivalent car is currently offered for $55,900 plus dealer delivery, $400 order fee and on-road costs.

2023 was the biggest year electric vehicle sales in Australia with 87,217 units sold, representing 7.2 per cent of all sales. Combined with plug-in hybrids and hybrids, the electric segment accounted for 16.2 per cent of new vehicles sold.

More: Australia's cheapest electric cars for sale

Tesla Model Y Interior

The Tesla Model Y takes a minimalist approach to dashboard design.

The world's best-selling cars in 2023

  1. Tesla Model Y - 1.22 million
  2. Toyota RAV4 - 1.07 million
  3. Honda CR-V - 846,000
  4. Toyota Corolla - 803,000
  5. Toyota Corolla Cross - 715,000
  6. Toyota Camry - 650,000
  7. Ford F-150 - 623,000
  8. Toyota HiLux - 605,000
  9. Nissan Sentra/Sylphy - 534,000
  10. Tesla Model 3 - 508,000
Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y features direct steering and a surefooted feel around town.

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