Tesla started off the year with a bang thanks in part to substantial price cuts on its lineup of EVs. According to Experian data from January 2023, the electric car maker racked up nearly 50,000 new registrations in the States, which is a massive lead over second-place BMW, with around 31,000 registrations.
Some people will argue that Tesla isn't a luxury automaker since its cars aren't as fancy as those produced by BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and others. However, the US EV maker has long been considered a luxury brand due to its price points and cutting-edge technology. Even amid the larger price cuts, Tesla's EVs were still sold at prices comparable to luxury classmates.
Tesla doesn't typically start off the year strong, rather, it focuses on dialing up sales at the end of each quarter, with the biggest push at the end of the year. However, opening the year with some of the biggest price reductions the brand has ever offered, on top of the availability of the newly revamped $7,500 US federal EV tax credit made for historic figures for the world's most well-known EV producer.
According to Automotive News, Tesla saw 49,917 new registrations in January 2023. Meanwhile, BMW had 31,070, followed by Mercedes' 23,345 and Lexus' 23,082. As you can see, Tesla sold 19,000 more vehicles in January than BMW and more than doubled Mercedes' and Lexus' new registrations for the month.
It's important to note that we're not talking about EV sales here. The numbers provided by Experian account for all new cars registered for the month as a whole, regardless of powertrain. If we were to look at Tesla's EV sales as compared to rival luxury brands, the discrepancy would be much more significant. More on that in a moment ...
Based on the numbers, Tesla's sales were up 34% as compared to January 2022. Meanwhile, BMW was up just 2.5%. Mercedes increased its sales year over year by 7.3% and Lexus saw a 6.6% drop.
The Model Y SUV was Tesla's best-selling vehicle for the period, which is to be expected since it saw a $13,000 price drop for the new year. Of the ~50,000 new Teslas registered in January 2023, nearly 29,000 were Model Ys, which marks a 56% increase year over year. Model 3 registrations were up 29%, to 17,526 units sold during the same time period.
Experian's data also shows that the overall EV market increased by 74% in January 2023, to 87,708 registrations in total. Since nearly 50,000 of the EVs sold were produced by Tesla, this shows that nearly 39,000 non-Tesla EVs entered the market during the same month.
While this is encouraging, keep in mind that it took every luxury and mainstream automaker combined to sell fewer EVs in one month than Tesla did alone.