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Tesla Model S electric car sales article highlights: 

  • As of October, sales figures suggest that the Tesla Model S is well off the pace to outsell its 2022 numbers.
  • According to the latest sales data from GoodCarBadCar, consumers purchased 67,973 fewer Model S sedans in 2023 YTD than in 2022.
  • Tesla’s most tenured electric car sells far fewer units than its more affordable siblings, the Model 3 and Model Y.     

Tesla rolled out its first Model S EV in 2012, sparking a long-standing electric car segment domination trend. However, legacy and boutique brands have since put the pressure on Tesla’s monopoly. In response, the brand introduced two cheaper nameplates, the Model 3 and Model Y, to appeal to a broader base. However, the Model S has been living in their sales shadows since the two cheaper models hit the road. Today, figures look a little grim for the luxe EV. 

Who is the target audience for the Tesla Model S?

A blue Tesla Model S Dual Motor AWD car drives in luxury across a city street.
Tesla Model S | Tesla

While the Tesla Model S was the electric car manufacturer’s first mass-produced model, it has since taken a back seat to the more affordable Model 3 and Model Y. Specifically, the Model S and its posh luxury appeal target wealthier consumers rather than budget-minded EV shoppers.

As a result, the more affordable 2023 Tesla Model 3 and Model Y SUV outsell the posher luxury sedan in the electric car market year over year. It’s understandable, too; the entry-level Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive starts at less than half the price of a base Model S Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive. 

Furthermore, the neck-snapping dual-motor 2023 Tesla Model 3 Performance, with its 3.1-second sprint to 60 mph and 315-mile range, starts at a whopping $30,600 less than the entry-level Model S after the federal tax incentive. That’s right, dear reader, a range-topping Model 3 Performance and entry-level Model 3 can’t match the Model S’ ask combined. 

Which Tesla model sells the most?

Unsurprisingly, the Tesla Model Y EV SUV outsold its siblings in 2023 year to date (YTD). As of October, Tesla sold 284,498 Model Ys, already surpassing total sales in 2022 by 58,699 units. 

Sales Figures2023 sales YTD (units)2022 sales (units)
Model S22,50090,473
Model Y284,498225,799
Model 3173,501195,698
Model X17,50124,099

While it’s all champagne bottles and confetti for the Model Y, the Model S and Model X are experiencing different results. According to GoodCarBadCar, Tesla has sold just 22,500 of its luxury electric car model. If the sales figures are iron-clad, that puts the Model S 67,973 units behind last year’s numbers.  

How much do Tesla electric cars cost?


2023 Tesla Model S Is a Bottom-of-the-List Luxury EV, Says KBB

Tesla’s electric car models vary from the entry-level 2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive to the range-topping Model X Plaid. After a federal tax credit, the cars could cost anywhere from $28,490 to $91,090.  

ModelStarting price (after federal tax credit)
Model S$71,090
Model Y$32,890
Model 3$28,490
Model X$68,590

As a result, it’s not hard to believe that the much more affordable Model Y and Model 3 would be more popular among first-time and veteran EV shoppers alike.

What do you think of the 2023 Tesla Model S? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Keep up with MotorBiscuit for the latest hybrid and electric car content!