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Considering that electric vehicles don’t fit many lifestyles or budgets, Tesla models are selling incredibly well. In the U.S., Tesla outsold Subaru, BMW, and Volkswagen Group in 2022. Here, this EV startup may lag behind GM, Toyota, and Ford. But in Europe, the Tesla Model Y is the best-selling vehicle. Tesla Model Y sales are outpacing everything in the luxury small SUV segment in the U.S. as well.

The Tesla Model Y is Europe’s best-selling vehicle

A Tesla factory building Model Y electric vehicles.
Tesla Model Y factory | Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

In early 2023, Warp News announced that the Tesla Model Y made history. Within the first month of hte year, it was Sweden’s best-selling car. Not the country’s best-selling EV, but the best-selling vehicle overall.

Shortly after, Tesla was able to repeat this feat all across Europe. My colleague Charles Singh reported that the Model Y is the best-selling car in Europe.

Tesla Sweden had 3,613 Model Y sales in Q1 of 2023. The automaker also sold 1,005 Model 3s. The Swedish-made Volvo XC60 and XC40 came in second and third. Volvo sold 3,289 XC40s and 2,401 XC60s.

The Tesla Model Y is riding a larger trend sweeping Sweden. In 2023, gasoline car sales dropped 14%. Diesels fell 18%. Even though overall vehicle sales fell 9.5%, EV sales rose 15%. EVs appear also to be taking some of PHEVs’ market share, as plug-in sales have dropped 26%.

Are Teslas selling well?

In a few short years, Tesla has become one of the best-selling automotive brands in the U.S. In fact, Tesla sold 170,000 vehicles in Q1 of 2023. That’s up from 163,371 vehicles during Q1 of 2022–according to Good Car Bad Car.

A white Tesla Model Y electric SUV in a harbor being exported to China for foreign sales, a transport ship visible in the background.
Tesla Model Y | Shen Chunchen/VCG via Getty Images

This means Tesla is selling more vehicles per quarter than many major automakers. Brands Tesla is beating out in the U.S. include Jaguar/Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Daimler-Benz, BMW Group, Mazda, Volkswagen, and Subaru. Tesla did come in far behind Nissan and Honda.

Altogether, Tesla sold 536,069 new vehicles in the U.S. in 2022. This is substantial. But it is still nowhere near the Detroit Three, Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda. For comparison’s sake, General Motors leads the pack with 500k+ vehicle sales–every quarter. That’s four times as many new vehicles sold as Tesla.

Teslas is taking aim at the largest market segments

A white Model Y SUV parked in a Tesla showroom, a passerby in the foreground looking at the electric vehicle.
Tesla Model Y | Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

Six automakers are selling more vehicles in the U.S. than Tesla. Does that mean Tesla is selling poorly? Not at all.

Automakers such as Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota offer cheaper entry-level vehicles than Tesla. The Tesla Model 3 starts at $39,990, which prices it out of the most budget-friendly niche and limits sales. This may be why Tesla is opening a plant in Mexico and planning to offer the vehicles on its upcoming third-generation chassis at a much lower price.

General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis all sell full-size pickup trucks. Lots of them. These are among their most popular products, thanks to a combination of private and fleet sales. Tesla is working on both a delivery van and pickup truck to conquer this niche.

When you look at the luxury small SUV segment in the U.S., the Tesla Model Y sales beats out every other vehicle. Tesla is selling 30,197 Model Ys in the U.S.

No competitor comes close to the Model Y. Audi is moving 6,000 Q5s a month, Lexus is selling 5,800 NXs, and BMW is selling 5,300 X3s. Every other competitor is below 4,000 monthly sales. This includes the Volvo XC60, Cadillac XT4, Mercedes’ various GLs, the Lincoln Corsair, and the Infiniti QX50.

In the U.S. market, the Tesla Model Y is outselling its nine closest competitors–combined. In Sweden, and in ths U.S., the Tesla Model Y is an incredibly popular luxury SUV.

Next, find out why the upcoming Cybertruck launch won’t be Tesla’s iPhone moment or see CNBC’s coverage of the Tesla Model Y becoming the best-selling vehicle in California in the video below: