Tesla Model Y Overtakes Corolla, Wins Global Car Sales Crown

Model y hero

Tesla’s Model Y has taken the global automotive market by storm, rising to the top of international car sales rankings, the first all-electic vehicle to do so.

Data gathered from key global markets, including information from JATO Dynamics, reveal that this compact SUV was the top-selling vehicle in the first quarter of the year, as reported exclusively by Motor1 (via Tesla North). We’re talking about the best-selling vehicle that includes traditional gas cars, not just electric.

A prediction made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the 2022 annual shareholders meeting has now come true. Musk had anticipated that the Model Y was on its trajectory to become the best-selling new vehicle worldwide by 2023, a projection that was met with skepticism considering the vehicle’s high average price point.

The Model Y starts at $59,990 in Canada and qualifies for both federal and provincial rebates. A 2023 Toyota Corolla starts at $25,565 in Canada, which makes this Model Y achievement even more impressive.

Musk’s bold vision has since been validated, thanks to a combination of strategic price reductions and Tesla’s increased global market footprint. The Model Y has seen an astronomical surge in demand, climbing from the third position in the previous year.

In 2022, the Model Y trailed behind economical best-sellers like the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota RAV4. Yet, in an impressive turn of events, it recorded a massive 91% sales increase from the previous year with 747,500 units sold.


Sales for the Model Y in the first quarter of the year were marked at 267,200 units, indicating a steep jump of roughly 69% from the same period in 2022. The success of the Model Y was seen in China, the United States, and Europe, where the vehicle secured its position as the top-selling model.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s everyday Corolla, traditionally a dominating player in global vehicle sales, saw a decline to 256,400 units. This drop includes a 29% reduction in China and a 10% fall in the United States.

The remaining top five global sales positions were occupied by Toyota models: Hilux, RAV4, and Camry. Despite the domination of these vehicles in developed markets, Tesla’s Model Y shows potential for growth in emerging economies, which represent a fifth of global vehicle sales.

Tesla’s Gigafactories have been instrumental in producing the Model Y units in large quantities, with Giga Shanghai playing a prominent role. In a strategic move, Giga Shanghai has begun exporting Model Y RWD and Model 3 Long Range units to Canada, thereby enabling Tesla to take advantage of American production for federal incentives.

Furthermore, Tesla is in the process of adding its latest Hardware 4 into the Model Y, which expands the newest Autopilot hardware beyond the Model S and Model X. This addition brings new camera hardware for the side repeaters, front and rear, enhancing the performance of Autopilot which powers the company’s Full Self-Driving beta.