Industry Updates

The Tesla Model Y Is The Best-Selling Car In The World

Dave Nichols
August 8, 2023
For the first time in history, the best-selling vehicle in the world is electric. Tesla's Model Y just beat out the Toyota Corolla on the global sales charts. The Tesla Model 3 also ranked in the top 10.
Tesla Model Y in white

An EV That Tops The Sales Charts

For the first time ever, the best-selling car in the world is electric. As of this writing in July 2023, the Tesla Model Y has just edged out the Toyota Corolla for the top spot in new car sales worldwide.

Across over 160 countries, the Tesla Model Y is the global sales leader so far this year. That feat keeps Elon Musk’s promise, made in August of 2022, that the Model Y would be the best-selling new vehicle in the world in 2023. At the time, some thought that boast was overly optimistic, given the Model Y’s starting MSRP of over $50,000. But several price cuts by Tesla in the final months of 2022, and even in 2023, have fueled massive sales growth. Indeed, 85 percent more Model Ys have been sold to date in 2023, an 85 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022.

The Model Y was the world’s the best-seller in both the first and second quarter of 2023, beating out the perennial Toyota Corolla by a small margin. Will the EV crossover hold its lead for the rest of the year? Only time, and sales, will tell.

2022’s Best Sellers

Based on sales in 162 countries, the world’s best-selling vehicle in 2022 was the Toyota Corolla, with 1.12 million sold. Toyota’s popular RAV4 was in second place, with 868,309 sales, making it the world’s most popular SUV. Ford’s F-Series pickup trucks, top-sellers in the U.S. for over 40 years, took third place globally with 786,337 sold, while Tesla’s Model Y was in fourth place in 2022 with 759,579 units sold.

2023 First Quarter Numbers

In Q1 of 2023, the Model Y sold 267,000 units, while the Corolla trailed behind it, with 256,400 units sold. Though the Model Y experienced massive growth in China, sales of the Corolla in the same country dropped by 29 percent. In Europe, the Corolla has never cracked the top 10 list, while the Model Y was a top seller. Here in the U.S., sales of the Model Y jumped by 68 percent while the Corolla dropped by 10 percent.

2023 Top 10 Sales So Far

The most up-to-date rankings available tell us that the Tesla Model Y is holding on to its lead for now – up an astonishing 85.3 percent over last year’s sales worldwide, while the venerable Corolla is down 7.4 percent year over year. The data in this article is based on vehicle registrations in 162 countries around the globe.

In the list of Top 10 best-selling vehicles, EV and electrified models seem to be making their way up the rankings as more consumers switch to plug-in hybrid and all-electric models.

a red Telsa model Y driving on the road

#1: Tesla Model Y

According to the combined data, the Tesla Model Y rose nine spots in 2023 to become the number one best-selling vehicle in the world with 427,524 units sold so far.

Red Toyota Corolla hybrid driving down the road

#2: Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla moved down to second place, with current sales of 410,732. The Corolla is down 6.6 percent over last year’s sales numbers.

 electric Ford  F-150 Lightning opened frunk parked by a house

#3: Ford F-Series

The Ford F-Series pickup trucks are in third place, with 358,945 units sold so far this year. Year-over-year growth is up 24.6 percent for America’s favorite truck, which includes the new electric F-150 Lightning.

Toyota RAV4 in blue parked by concrete walls

#4: Toyota RAV4

The popular RAV4 dropped two spots to fourth place this year with 324,061 units sold thus far. That’s a 11.1 percent drop from last year’s sales period.

Chevrolet Silverado pick up truck parked by a home

#5: Chevrolet Silverado

The Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck has moved up a spot over last year, taking fifth place with 252,545 units sold. A new electric Silverado EV is now available to order.

Honda CR-V driving on the road

#6: Honda CR-V

The fine Honda CR-V crossover came in sixth, with 249,184 new registrations so far this year.

Hyundai Tucson driving on a city road

#7: Hyundai Tucson

The Hyundai Tucson crossover gained four spots in the first half of the year, to come in seventh so far in 2023 with 245,863 units sold.

Toyota Camry hybrid driving through snow

#8: Toyota Camry

The ever-reliable Camry sedan took eighth place with 245,066 units sold in 2023.

Toyota Hilux pick up truck from Australia

#9: Toyota Hilux

Not available in North America, the Toyota Hilux pickup truck is well known around the world. It racked up sales of 231,784 units so far.

Blue Tesla Model 3 driving on the road

#10: Tesla Model 3

We round out the current worldwide 2023 best-selling vehicles list with another Tesla. Down seven spots this year, the 226,049 units of the Model 3 were sold.

Stay Tuned

As you can see, Toyota, with a very diverse portfolio of vehicles, is holding its own in sales across the globe. But when it comes to predicting future sales, the automotive industry can be a roller coaster ride, and you never know which way it might twist and turn. Will Tesla hold on to the top spot? Will EVs continue to climb the charts? Watch this space.

A young couple admiring the forest and trees next to their RAV4 Hybrid

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