The Tesla Model 3 appears to be finding its way into the mainstream again, based on April U.S. sales estimates.
The Model 3 was the ninth best-selling car in the U.S. last month, according to data from Good Car Bad Car. It trailed the Kia Soul by fewer than 400 units, while trouncing the Nissan Versa by more than 3,000. The typical best-seller, the Toyota Camry, sold 29,227 examples in April. These numbers exclude pickup trucks and SUVs.
There are some caveats, specifically that Tesla's monthly sales are estimates rather than most others' official figures (Tesla reports deliveries quarterly). Second, April's numbers were likely inflated by Model 3 deliveries that were unable to be completed before the end of the first quarter on March 31. In its report on April 3, Tesla said its U.S. sales were hamstrung by the need to get production to Europe and China.
"Due to a massive increase in deliveries in Europe and China, which at times exceeded 5x that of prior peak delivery levels, and many challenges encountered for the first time, we had only delivered half of the entire quarter’s numbers by March 21, ten days before end of quarter," the company stated in its quarterly release. "This caused a large number of vehicle deliveries to shift to the second quarter."
Tesla's sales streaks are still tied to the number of vehicles they can actually get to customers in a given quarter. So while the occasional Top 10 appearances may happen throughout the rest of 2019, the real story will be how many cars get to customers by the end of the year.