The Tesla Model Y, the American electric car manufacturer’s entry-level crossover, was the world’s best-selling car in 2023, data from Jato Dynamics quoted by Autocar shows.

Besides getting the most important crown in the sales world, the Model Y–by far Tesla’s most successful product–also finished last year as Europe’s and China’s best-selling car.

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Tesla Model Y tops the sales charts

After being crowned the best-selling car in the first quarter of 2023, the Tesla Model Y continued its strong sales performance and finished last year on the top spot of the best-selling cars in the world. That's a first for an EV.

That’s big praise for a car that only entered production four years ago, made by a company founded just two decades ago. The Toyota RAV4 crossover, which was the best-selling car in the world in 2022, finished last year in second place, while its hatchback brother, the Toyota Corolla, was in third place.

Compared to the Model Y, both the RAV4 and the Corolla nameplates go back at least 30 years, while Toyota has almost 90 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Tesla’s electric crossover was sold in over 1.2 million units last year across the world, with every two in three Tesla-branded passenger cars that were sold in 2023 being Model Ys. The Toyota RAV4 saw sales of 1.07 million units, while the Corolla finished the podium with 1.01 million units in the same period.

Gallery: 2021 Tesla Model Y

One of the main drivers for the success of the American battery-powered crossover was the repeated price cuts applied by Tesla during the previous 12 months, combined with the company’s reputation as a reliable and competitive EV maker, Felipe Munoz, global analyst at Jato Dynamics, said for Autocar.

China saw over 456,000 Model Ys sold in 2023, a 45% increase from 2022. In Europe, the Model Y was sold in more than 255,000 units throughout last year, outpacing the second-placed Dacia Sandero by over 19,000 cars.

In total, Tesla delivered 1.8 million cars last year globally, with the Model 3/Model Y duo representing the lion’s share with 1.77 million units.

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