Tesla Model 3 becomes best-selling premium sedan in the world

Tesla Model 3
Tesla announced that the Model 3 has become the best-selling premium sedan in the world – beating the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Exports of made-in-China Model 3 vehicles helped Tesla achieve this milestone.

Model 3 has long been the best-selling electric car in the world, and it’s not even close.



But when compared to its gas-powered counterparts, it hasn’t had as much success globally. In some markets, the Model 3 has often taken the top-selling spot.

We have seen that happen in the US a few times, as well as in the UK, Norway, and a few other markets.

Now Tesla pulled some data in Q1 2021 and claimed that Model 3 is now the best-selling premium sedan globally:

Global premium vehicle sales

About three and a half years into its production, and even without a European factory, Model 3 was the best-selling premium sedan in the world, outselling long-time industry leaders such as the 3 Series and E Class. This demonstrates that an electric vehicle can be a category leader and outsell its gas-powered counterparts.

Tesla shared the following chart that shows Model 3 actually achieved that milestone last quarter as well:

As per the chart, Model 3 deliveries picked up the second half of last year as production started ramping up at Gigafactory Shanghai.



Later, Tesla also started to export made-in-China Model 3 vehicles to Europe and APAC, which helped improve deliveries.

Now the automaker believes that Model Y will achieve even greater heights:

We believe Model Y can become not just a category leader, but also the best-selling vehicle of any kind globally.

CEO Elon Musk has previously stated that he can see Tesla delivering as many as 1 million Model Y vehicles per year.

Electrek’s Take

The interesting thing about this announcement is that Tesla actually broke down Model 3 and Model Y deliveries for the first time in a long time.

Based on the chart, it looks like Tesla delivered about 120,000 Model 3 vehicles in Q1 and the company announced 182,847 Model 3/Y deliveries – meaning that Tesla delivered about 60,000 Model Y vehicles last quarter.

It shows that Model 3 is still outselling Model Y by a wide margin, despite the start of Model Y production at Gigafactory Shanghai.



At this point, with that kind of difference, I don’t see that changing until the start of production ramp-up at Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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