December 8

Tesla Model Y is #2 US Bestseller in 2023 through Q3, Behind Perennial #1 Ford F-150, and Ahead of Toyota RAV4

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Sales of EVs soar 56.7% in 2023 through Q3. Sales of vehicles with gasoline engines languish at +1.4%. The new registrations are out.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Tesla’s Model Y was the #2 bestseller in the US in 2023 through Q3, with a market share of 2.5% of all new light vehicles sold, according to registration data provided by Experian today.

The Ford F-150, the bestseller for eons, was again the #1 bestseller with a share of 3.5%. Toyota’s RAV4 was #3. Tesla’s Model 3 was the #10 bestseller, with a share of 1.4%, just behind the Toyota Corolla.

Share by automaker. In terms of new vehicle registrations by automaker, spread across all their brands: GM (Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC) was #1, Toyota (Toyota, Lexus) was #2, and Ford (Ford, Lincoln) was #3. Tesla was #9 with a share of 4.2%.

Sales of EVs Soar, sales of ICE vehicles languish. In 2023 through Q3, new registrations of pure EVs soared by 56.7% year-over-year, to nearly 900,000 (no hybrids included). The full year 2023 will the first year when EV sales will exceed 1 million (likely somewhere north of 1.1 million).

New registrations, % change, year-over-year:

EVs: +56.7%
Vehicles with gasoline engines: +1.4%
Vehicles with diesel engines: -3.5%
Hybrids (plug-in and non-plugin): +43.1%.

Among EV brands, it’s still Tesla v. All Others.

There are now 30 EV brands with registrations (not just announcements) in the US. Some are EV-only automakers, such as Tesla and Rivian. Others are legacy automakers trying to chase after Tesla. And for them it has been a slog with lots of setbacks. But little by little, those 29 non-Tesla brands combined are whittling away at Tesla’s share of the booming EV market.

Tesla’s market share among EV makers declined to 57.4% in 2023 through Q3, down from 65.4% in 2022, from 68.2% in 2021, from 79.4% in 2020, and from 100% when it first put its Model S on the road.

The share of the other 29 automakers combined rose to 42.6%.

Chevrolet was #2 with a share of 5.9%, on the strength of its old Bolt and Bolt EUV, which after the price cuts, have been selling very well, and 2023 is by far their best year ever with nearly 50,000 deliveries through Q3.

But earlier this year, GM announced that it would discontinue the Bolt and Bolt EUV by the end of this year, and that would be the end of the Bolt. Then in July, it did an about-face and announced that it wouldn’t be the end of the Bolt after all, that there would be a new Bolt sometime in the future based on its Ultium platform. But until the whenever-arrival of the future Bolt, there will be no Bolt at all, and GM will just abandon this lower-priced EV segment. The infinite wisdom of the US legacy automakers never ceases to astound.

Ford was #3 with a share of 5.5%, with its F-150 Lightning, its Mustang Mach-E compact SUV, and a retrofitted electric van, the E-Transit.

Ford and GM have encountered numerous problems, surprising problems, including Tesla’s price cuts, which nixed their dream of selling large numbers of overpriced EVs and making $20,000 on each of them. Now they have to go back to the drawing board to be able to compete.

But instead of going back to the drawing board and investing this cash in the development of EVs that can compete, they announced that they would incinerate billions of dollars on more share buybacks to prop up their shares. Like I said, the infinite wisdom of the US legacy automakers never ceases to astound.

Hyundai was #4 with a share of 4.8%.

Others: Rivian, the startup selling full-size pickups and SUVs whose deliveries soared by 136% year-over-year, jumped to #6 with a share of 3.5%, sandwiched between BMW (3.7%) and Mercedes-Benz (3.2%). Volkswagen was #8 with a share of 3.2%.

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