Tesla not only beat all US luxury automakers on car sales for 2022 as a whole, but also beat them by a ridiculous margin. BMW was the former champ, and while its sales dropped by over 5% year over year, Tesla's sales grew by more than a whopping 40%.
Looking at every luxury brand that sells cars in the US, and not separating out any vehicles by powertrain, Tesla was the clear leader for 2022. Even though the US automaker only produces EVs and only sells four models, it left all luxury rivals in the dust.
According to a report by Automotive News, Tesla had 484,351 new car registrations in the US in 2022. Data compiled by Experian confirms that this number is up 41% from that of 2021. Meanwhile, BMW had 327,929 new car registrations for the year, a 5.3% drop. Mercedes-Benz's 2022 sales essentially remained flat compared to 2021, coming in at 269,511 new registrations last year.
Tesla and CEO Elon Musk don't really see rival EVs as their top competitors, but rather, gas-powered cars. This is because it's Tesla's mission to lead the transition to EVs. While Tesla's models are easily outselling all their fully electric classmates, it's arguably much bigger news that the US company's lineup as a whole is outselling sought-after German luxury brands that produce primarily gas-powered vehicles.
We used to talk about specific Tesla models finally beating their gas-powered rivals, but now, Tesla's small lineup is knocking it out of the park compared to the much larger lineups of successful, legacy automakers. That said, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y made up the vast majority of the US automaker's sales in 2022.
As a whole, luxury brands' total registrations were down 3.5% for the year, at just over 2 million. Tesla helped keep this number up significantly, however. If you remove Tesla from the mix of luxury registrations in 2022, the other brands were collectively down 11%.
When it comes to EV sales, BMW's registrations added up to about 14,000 in 2022, and Mercedes' came in at around 11,500. Tesla only sells EVs, so compare its total of almost 485,000 to the latter figures to paint a picture of how it's all playing out.