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Tesla Model Y becomes world's best-selling car surpassing Toyota RAV4

With more than 1.2 million Model Ys sold in 2023, Tesla’s SUV becomes the first electric car to be the world’s best selling vehicle for a full year

Tesla Model Y - front cornering

It has been officially confirmed that in 2023, the Tesla Model Y became the best selling car globally and the first electric car to hold the title. 

Since going on sale in 2020, the Model Y has been the driving force behind Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company’s on going success. It has eclipsed the Tesla Model 3 saloon in terms of sales since 2021 and has been the best selling electric car in the UK for the past two years.

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The hybrid Toyota RAV4 SUV, which topped the chart in 2022 and the Toyota Corolla, which holds the record as the best selling car in history, were both overtaken by Tesla's electric family SUV in the world standings last year as it sold over 1.2 million units.

Automotive industry intelligence company, Jato Dynamics, is the source of this data. Last year, 151 countries sold 78.32 million new cars worldwide, with SUVs making up nearly half of the total. 

In spite of Tesla's absence from several emerging regions, the Model Y was still able to hold the top rank for the year. Tesla is “a brand made for the developed world” according to Felipe Munroz, senior analyst at Jato Dynamics, but that hasn’t stooped the Model Y from eclipsing all rivals.

Munoz went on to say: “While it cannot currently target these markets, there is potential for emerging markets to be explored as an additional source of growth in the future.”

When focusing on the UK market, things seem a little less ideal for the Tesla Model Y. As of June 2024, no custom-built electric cars feature in the list of the UK’s best selling cars for the year to date and the last time the Tesla Model Y was included in the top 10 sellers for any month was back in March.

The upgraded Model Y, codenamed "Juniper," may still arrive early in the following year and carry over the improvements found in the redesigned Tesla Model 3, despite Elon Musk's recent denials that one would arrive before the year ends.

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