The Tesla Model Y was the world’s best-selling vehicle in 2023, according to preliminary data.

    Market research firm JATO Dynamics reports the Model Y’s 1.23 million sales across the 2023 calendar year will see it comfortably outsell the Toyota RAV4/Wildlander (1.07 million sales) and Toyota Corolla/Levin/Lingshang (1.01 million sales).

    The firm says there are still a few markets which have yet to release vehicle sales figures, but the Model Y is in an “unassailable position”.

    Global Model Y sales were up 64 per cent on 2022, and it accounted for two in three deliveries by the brand in 2023.

    “The increase in global sales of the Model Y is unprecedented, particularly for a vehicle in the top ten best-sellers,” said JATO Dynamics global analyst Felipe Muñoz.

    “What Tesla has been able to achieve with the Model Y in such a short space of time is simply remarkable.

    “The average retail price of a Tesla Model Y in November 2023 was 18 per cent and 23 per cent lower than the average cost of an EV in Germany and USA respectively.

    “The price cuts over the course of the year combined with Tesla’s reputation as a reliable and competitive EV manufacturer, helped to fuel already high demand.

    “While Toyota still experienced a strong year in 2023, the RAV4 and Corolla are simply unable to compete in the electric car market, which is becoming increasingly established and important across Europe and China.”

    As previously reported, the Model Y was the best-selling vehicle in Europe. It also took the top spot in China, with more than 456,000 vehicles sold – up 45 per cent over 2022.

    JATO Dynamics has collated data from North America, Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, South Africa, and Philippines.

    Also included is data from the largest markets in Latin America, some in Southeast Asia, while preliminary data has been used for markets like the Middle East, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, among others.

    In Europe, data released earlier in January shows Tesla sold 254,822 Model Ys in Europe against 235,893 Dacia Sanderos, a considerably cheaper, petrol-powered hatchback.

    That made it the first year an electric vehicle (EV) took the top spot in Europe, and the first non-European car in the “modern era” to get the gold, though Model Ys are produced in Germany for European consumption.

    While the Model Y was only the sixth best-selling vehicle in Australia in 2023, it was the best-selling vehicle among private buyers – the first time an EV has earned this honour.

    Tesla sold 28,769 Model Ys in Australia in 2023, with 20,577 of these – or 71.52 per cent – going to private buyers. It’s the first time an electric vehicle (EV) has topped the private sales charts.

    MORE: Everything Tesla Model Y
    MORE: 2023 Tesla Model Y review

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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