Elon Musk: Tesla’s Model Y to be best-selling car in the world


Tesla projects that its electric crossover car, the Model Y, will become the best-selling car in the world in 2023 – a first for Tesla and an electric vehicle.

That’s what Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a mid-May investor call.

The Model Y was already the fourth best-selling car worldwide in 2022, selling 759,000 units. Ahead of it was the Ford F150 (786,000 units sold), the Toyota Rav4 (871,000 units sold), and the Toyota Corolla (1.12 million units sold).

Tesla manufactured 440,000 cars in the first quarter of 2023 – a 36% increase compared to 2022. The company claims it sold 422,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars.

While it isn’t clear how those numbers are distributed between the two models, the more expensive Model  Y tends to outsell the cheaper Model 3.

A Tesla logo on a Model S is photographed inside of a Tesla dealership in New York, US, April 29, 2016. (credit: REUTERS/LUCAS JACKSON/FILE PHOTO)

Tesla’s leadership in the field is evident based on the first quarter sales figures from BYD, which sold 267,800 electric cars, and Volkswagen, which sold 140,000.

The Model Y was the best-selling car in Europe during the first quarter of 2023, the best-selling crossover car in China, and the best-selling car in the US that wasn’t a pickup truck.

In Israel, deliveries of a discounted Model Y should start soon, but with a price tag of NIS 224,000, which is 40% more than the best-selling car of the year, the electric BYD Auto 3. Because of this, it is doubtful that the Model  Y will take off in Israel like the Model 3 did when it arrived.

What are Tesla’s next cars?

Musk also said that Tesla is now working on two new models, which it hopes to sell a combined 5 million copies of each year. He didn’t elaborate further, showing just a silhouette of what seems to be the low-cost model the company already confirmed it was working on, which appears to be either a crossover or a hatchback.

Some estimates say this will be Tesla’s answer to the Volkswagen ID.2 and its versions for Skoda, which will be launched in 2025 and should cost under $25,000.

Musk also didn’t provide a timetable or other details.

It’s possible that one of the models is for the Model 3 Project Highland, the code name for the electric sedan. This model should benefit from a more efficient production process – something that could allow them to lower prices.

Musk also said that production of the Cybertruck will begin soon, and he plans on using it as his car. 

Tesla also shed light on its production process, blasting the industry’s standard production process of connecting all the parts to the car and working on them one by one is expensive and slow. Tesla’s production method will be implemented in its new Mexico factor, which will see work done on individual parts before then attaching them to the car once it’s completed. This should be faster but will require more workers and robots.