Americans love buying Tesla EVs. That’s what Cox Automotive’s 2023 sales report shows, at least, with the maker of the Model 3 reaching a higher market share last year than historically big names like Volkswagen, BMW, and Subaru.

According to the report (embedded below by X user @GuyDealership), Tesla sold a little over 650,000 cars in 2023, which translates to a market share of 4.2% in the United States–an increase of 0.4% over 2022. By comparison, global automotive giant Volkswagen sold roughly 20,000 fewer cars last year, resulting in a market share of 4.1%

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Tesla gets ahead in the sales game. Again

Tesla has long been the biggest player in the electric vehicle segment in the United States, but a new sales report that analyzes last year's performances from major manufacturers shows Volkswagen has been surpassed by Tesla when it comes to market share.

A huge player in the automotive space, VW sells a complete mix of combustion-powered, hybrid, and electric vehicles, while Tesla relies completely on its portfolio of all-electric vehicles.


Granted, it’s a small difference between the two automakers, but it’s also worth pointing out that Tesla only sells EVs, while Volkswagen has a portfolio that includes combustion vehicles, hybrids, and EVs. In other words, a full-electric car company outpaced what is now fashionable to call a legacy automaker.

But it’s not just Volkswagen that was outpaced by Tesla last year. Subaru, maker of the Solterra EV, also ranks below the American EV marque, with about 900 fewer cars sold than Volkswagen in 2023, resulting in a 4.1% market share.

German sportscar maker BMW, which also offers several EVs like the i4 and iX, is below Subaru in Cox Automotive’s ranking, with a smidge under 386,000 vehicles sold in 2023, making for a 2.5% market share.

American startup Rivian, which sells the all-electric R1S and R1T passenger EVs, ranks toward the bottom of the list, but it’s worth keeping in mind that the California-based company is still a newcomer in the automotive world, with production of the R1T starting in 2021.

Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S

Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S

That said, Rivian sold a bit over 50,000 vehicles last year (including its Electric Commercial Van), which was a 146.5% increase compared to 2022. The company’s U.S. market share reached 0.3%, up from 0.1% in 2022.

Lucid, which is also a newcomer, saw its sales improve last year but figures are still low. According to Cox Automotive, the luxury automaker sold 5,779 cars last year, an increase of 117.6% over 2022, but it’s still not enough to push the market share figure above 0.0%.

2024 Lucid Air Sapphire Exterior Front Quarter

2024 Lucid Air Sapphire

Vietnamese startup VinFast reportedly sold 3,129 cars in the U.S. last year, while Fisker had 2,669 cars that reached customers.

At the top of the list sits General Motors, which sold over 2.5 million cars in 2023, an increase of 14.1%. As for market share, GM now sits at 16.5%, which is 0.3% more than in 2022. Toyota is second, with a 14.4% share–down 0.8%, while Ford had 12.7% of the U.S. auto market last year, down 0.6% compared to the year before.

It's no surprise that Tesla is the best-selling EV manufacturer in the States, but this new report shows the American automaker is more than capable of surpassing one of the oldest names in the industry: Volkswagen.

That said, there's a pretty big difference of 300,000 units that separates Tesla from the next best-selling company, Nissan-Mitsubishi, while Honda managed to sell double the volume registered by Tesla, or around 1.3 million cars, so it will be interesting to see what 2024 and beyond will bring for the Elon Musk-led automaker.

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