Tesla Model 3 Charges Past Nissan Into Top 5 U.S. Passenger Cars


Nissan Altima and Hyundai Elantra left behind as the Model 3 continues to climb the monthly charts.

In August, the Tesla Model 3 once again set a number of records on the InsideEVs U.S. Plug-In Sales Scorecard. With our estimated 17,800 sales, it set an all-time single month record for any electric or plug-in vehicle.

This of course follows July, where the Model 3 set the previous record of 14,250 units. In addition, the Model 3 has set an all-time yearly record in the U.S. for a single plug-in model with an estimated 55,882 units sold between January and August. In fact, the Model 3 has now surpassed 2017’s #1 (Model S – 27,060) and #2 champions (Chevy Bolt EV – 23,297) combined.

Tesla Model 3 Outsold All BMW Passenger Cars In US

And we still have 4 months left in the year!

Tesla Model 3

Here in the EV world, the Model 3 tends to be compared to its perceived competitors in the luxury sedan market or the plug-in market. This is understandable, but is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Moving forward, the Model 3 will be leaving most EV and luxury competition behind.

In July, we reported that the Model 3 could very well end the 2nd half of 2018 in the top 5 of Sedan sales. Now it looks like that time is here.

Based on numbers reported by GoodCarBadCar, the Model 3 sits in the top 5 of passenger car sales in August. This places Model 3 sales in between the Hyundai Elantra (15,475) and the Toyota Corolla Family (26,155).

GoodCarBadCar provided their own Model 3 estimate for the month of 20,450. However, InsideEVs recent estimate track record is generally within 3% and 4% of actual numbers reported by the automaker. In addition, Elon Musk tweeted out our August estimates. So we can assume that we have reached a similar level of accuracy this month.

While the GoodCarBadCar chart does not include sales from General Motors, only the Malibu and Cruze sedans might have comparable sales. However, based on their most recently reported sales, it is unlikely either model would unseat the electric sedan.

This sales feat was achieved despite the fact that Tesla Service Centers are currently strained due to increased deliveries. However, the young automaker will shake off those growing pains soon. We look forward to watching the Model 3 continue to grow for the remainder of the year.


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2. Tesla Model 3
Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.

Source: goodcarbadcar.net

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50 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Charges Past Nissan Into Top 5 U.S. Passenger Cars"

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GM Authority puts the GM sales figures below the Model III for any sedan/compact they make: Chevrolet Cruze did 16,122. The Malibu did 14,707.

Another one rides the bus.

Fast Forward to the one minute mark.


If Freddy would have stayed on the Bus, he would have been 72 years old yesterday!

Pretty amazing!

Wow, this is beyond what I expected for Model 3. I expected it to beat all the premium entry level sedans (like 3 series) but it’s beating even the econoboxes.

When most of the Top 5 Vehicles trsded in for a Model 3, are Not BMW’s, you know the car is going to Barbeque many a A Product lines Demand in 1-2 Years!

Actually, all sedans are taking a big beating. The top 3 sedans all had double digits (~15 to 18%) drop in sales for the month. But their respective Crossover offering all had (~24 to 27%) rise in sales. While Camry/Accord/Altima sunk, Pilot, CRV, Rav4, Rogue and Highlander had a blast in sales…

If Model Y is available today, it would have eaten Model 3 lunch as well.

Great point about crossovers being the hot vehicles today. I certainly hope Elon learned from the mistakes with the Model X, and just makes the model Y a four-to-six inch higher version of the Model 3 with a hatchback. No crazy new door tech, and no non-folding seatbacks PLEASE!

Strongly agree. The Y needs to be a straightforward, well designed and built electric car. As I keep stressing here, a lot of consumers see buying a Tesla as weird thanks to the paucity of stores in many areas and the M3 wait time. Plus, for most consumers Tesla is a new and unknown to them company.

I think that gull wing door thing was instructive. They are solving a real problem, which is the soccer moms I see who pull a huge SUV into a too-small parking space and disgorge a pile of kids. And look how that works! The back door pops open a few inches and slides back, completely automated these days. THAT’S the model Tesla needs for the Y.

No they not

Just have sliding doors like the minivans

“Please please please” as I channel James Brown….

According to the Wall Street Journal, all car sales in the USA are down. Its kinda funny to me, because I want to say to them “not all car sales…”. Tesla is headed up, and indeed selling all they can make, in a declining market. Tesla stock continues to take a beating, its seems like there is a huge difference between press and production here. I’d bet on the market, but I have already lost a sufficient amount of money on Tesla.

Now is the time to buy Scott!

That is what I did. If sales continue like this when December comes around Tesla could well be number 1 in sales, hard to see how the stock will not go up then.

It’s nice to see an E.V. do so well in the land of the gas guzzlers, whilst I don’t see the model 3 selling in vast numbers here in Scotland, it along with the transport policies of the likes of Norway and China are forcing the rest of the auto industry to take E.V.s seriously.

I wanted one, but I can’t wait the time they are advising. I’ve ordered a Hyundai Kona instead.

Considering the low production volumes and high demand, are you sure that one will arrive sooner?…

Strictly speaking, the Tweet about Tesla taking first, second, and third would be true even if you Model 3 estimates were totally off…

At least it does confirm the spike in S + X US deliveries 🙂

Lol technically true. But yes if nothing else, it confirms X+S outsold the Prime and Volt estimate.

Even if the traditional sedans (Accord, Civic, Camry and Corolla) are still selling better in the country, I hardly see any driving around here around San Jose meanwhile I see tons of new Model 3 around.

Yeah, it was weird when I recently went to visit family in Minnesota (just outside Minneapolis). Hardly any EVs on the road. I think I saw 1 Bolt, 1 Leaf, and 1 Model S for the entire week. Versus here in the PNW, where I see multiple EVs ever day.

We get two truckloads a week of Tesla vehicles delivered here. You can’t drive across downtown Minneapolis without seeing a Tesla. I do think that the further out you go in some directions, the more likely you are in truck territory. They have to pull a horse trailer once a year, or some other excuse.

I see allot of Camary, Accords and Civics here in Lorain Ohio

” Toyota Carolla Family (26,155).”

What is a Carolla?

You mean Corolla?

A Carolla is a Toyota Corolla with a sack of carrots in the trunk.

Haha! That is what you call a “late night, last article of sales week for Wade after two previous late nights” typo. 🙂

Thanks, fixed!

Q. Why is it called a Corolla?
A. Because it Corollas down the road.

WoW! Some of the big guys are now a country mile behind Tesla and scrambling around like headless chickens.

I don’t know if they’re scrambling. Any major car company should have been able to see this coming literally right after Tesla started taking massive numbers of reservations for the 3. If they had any sense whatsoever they would have analyzed the situation and tried to figure out what it meant to their sales of various models, and started taking steps to counter it. Because of the long time lag in product development for cars, this is a tough scenario for these companies.

This is why I wonder constantly what various companies are doing behind the scenes that we don’t know about. The company I find most intriguing in this way is Toyota. I would bet anything that there’s a Super Secret EV develop effort at Toyota, if only to cover their bases in case there’s a big battery breakthrough or some other change that makes them conclude they need to get an EV into production ASAP. Is the success of the 3 enough incentive to make them take that step? IMO it should be, but in the case of Toyota it won’t be.

I’ve loved all my Toyotas (2nd car is an ’05 Prius) and I harass my dealership annually about not having a BEV in the line up. But until Toyota announces an investment of $2B in a battery factory they are not players in the market.

Going by various announcements, most car makers *did* see what the massive Model 3 reservations mean, and ramped up serious EV programs in response. It just takes a while for these to take effect. Toyota is no exception, and it’s no secret: https://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/14281296

Well done and it costs the taxpayer only 200 millions per month

It’s 135k if you’re assuming all buyers deduct the model 3 from their taxes(these deductions start going away at the end of the year). And if you want to compare apples to apples then maybe you should get angrier when people buy GM. The government gave them 80 billion dollars or enough to create like 5 new US car companies. But sure, be all annoying about Tesla when they make more American cars than any US car company.

$7,500 + $2,500 = $10,000 incentives. LOL 13 cars cost the taxpayer 135k

In the case of the federal credit, it saves the taxpayer $7500.

I am not the one paying for your federal credit. You are paying yourself! 😉

Well, theoretically it is less revenue for the government. However, (and I am NOT for such government run incentive programs) the ability to simply KEEP your own money is probably the most efficient type of incentive Uncle Sam runs, simply because money that actually reaches government hands and then comes back to consumers again usually comes back greatly reduced.

However, that old saw about EV incentives being collected by rich people goes double for the Fed incentive, since it will be collected mainly by old men like me who itemize their taxes. I think my relationship with my tax guy is getting to be more important than a lot of my other endeavors, which is a sad commentary on the state of government nowadays.

As much as I was (and am) against the government bailout of Government Motors (hehe), there have been several articles covering the fact that GM paid it all back.

except the billions the government lost on GM stock. I think it was to the tune of $13 billion IIRC. So the tax payers lost 13 Billion on Government Motors. One of many reasons I will never buy one of their products ever.

It isn’t GM’s fault for government to lose it out on GM stocks. Government could have held on the stocks until GM recovered further to NOT lose any money on it. Government decided to “cash out” for political driven reasons.

GM bailout is part of the overall TARP bailouts which actually made money for the tax payer overall.

But save auto jobs and suppliers and the manufacturers of raw materials from the suppliers

Not to mention the tax breaks and exploration grants that oily corporations get.

Taxpayers get more of their own money back. It does not costs taxpayers anything.

If everyone bought an EV, it would even out and come from a mix of taxpayers and corporations alike. I get the whole Libertarian angle, but come on, you honestly think we can wait long enough for all the billions of dollars spent to develop a price point competitive BEV? There’s just no incentive. Not enough people care about advancing beyond combustion. The right thing isn’t an incentive when you make $25k a year. The right thing isn’t an incentive when the media and film businesses put combustion at the “heart and soul” of driving. Heck, even Disney and their Cars 3 blew it by making the next breed of cars not BEVs. Lightning McQueen and all his self-dialogue could never, ever compete against a BEV racer like Formula E. Look at what VW did to Pike’s Peak this year. They ruined that entire race for ICE by not only coming in with a new track record, but skipping ahead so much. And yet, I feel an argument coming on from you. It’s there, just under the surface, like a pimple ready to form.

Actually, if it means less taxes paid by the buyer, then it just adds to the deficit. If a little bigger deficit is worth less pollution, less gasoline used, lower gas prices, less dependence on foreign oil, then perhaps it is worth it. I personally believe it is.

Using your $200 million figure, that would amount to just over .06% of the federal budget.

Does it increase the deficit, since also mean less money spent on health care for pollution cause health problems, less need to get foreign oil (fracking does not supply it all). In the case of Tesla, money for the car wages and taxes all stay in USA. And since I am in Canada it helps with foreign money moving to the US.

The good news is that it is the tax payers who are benefiting from the tax credits. If you don’t pay tax, you don’t get the credit when buying a Model 3.

Didn’t cost The anything