Tesla may have moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas, but California remains by far its biggest sales market in the United States.
While that's hardly a surprise seeing as The Golden State is the country's largest car market and home to more that 40% of America's entire electric vehicle fleet, Tesla's dominance of California's overall vehicle market is still impressive.
In the first half of the year, the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 became California's best-selling vehicles—not just electric vehicles—according to data from the California New Car Dealers Association.
The Tesla Model Y became the state's number one model overall with 42,320 sales in the first six months, while the Model 3 ranked a close second with 38,993 sales. The volumes are approximately the same as the Model Y and Model 3 sales in Europe during the same period, which goes to show how big a market California is for battery electric vehicles.
In their respective segments (Luxury Compact SUVs and Near Luxury Cars), the Model Y and Model 3 crushed the competition, achieving market shares of 54.2 % and 60.8%, respectively. The Mercedes-Benz GLC ranked second behind the Model Y with 7,856 sales, while the Lexus ES trailed the Model 3 with 5,159 sales.
The Tesla Model S also topped its segment (Luxury and High-End Sports Cars) with 5,791 sales and 21.7% market share, beating the BMW 5 Series' 2,792 sales and 10.5% share. The Model X ranked fourth in its segment (Luxury Mid-Size SUV) with 3,791 sales and 8.4% market share; the leader was the Lexus RX with 8,796 sales and 19.5% market share.
In total, Tesla sold 90,985 vehicles in California in H1 2022, an impressive 82.2 percent increase over the first half of 2021, when it sold 49,875 units. Looking at the detailed results (check out the source link at the bottom of the page), you may be surprised to learn that Tesla was California's second best-selling auto brand overall with a 10.7% share of the state's new car and light truck market. Toyota was the only automaker that outranked Tesla, with 152,838 sales accounting for 17.9% market share.
Other interesting conclusions to draw are that Tesla was by far California's best-selling premium auto brand, selling three times more cars than BMW (30,046 units), 2.5 times more than Mercedes-Benz (35,815) and 3.5 times more than Lexus (24,630). Even more remarkably, Tesla outsold mainstream brands with pickup truck lineups like Chevrolet (53,226), Ford (74,146), Honda (72,990) and Nissan (41,052).
Besides California's generous incentives and EV-friendly policies, Tesla owes part of its tremendous success in the state to the Fremont Factory, which easily and quickly supplies the local market. North America's most productive car plant in 2021 with a weekly output of 8,550 cars and annual capacity of 600,000 units.
Tesla's sale performance in California caught the attention of CNBC's Squawk Box show and here's how they explain the brand's record half-year period in America's largest car market.