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Tesla model dominates the vehicle market after far-fetched prediction by Elon Musk: 'The increase ... is unprecedented'

Musk famously isn't short on confidence.

Musk famously isn't short on confidence.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk bragged on a fourth-quarter earnings call that the brand's Model Y was the best-selling vehicle marketwide in 2023.

The company revealed that 1.2 million Model Y's were sold globally last year, as detailed by Teslarati, and while some might assume Musk was inflating those figures to satisfy shareholders and to make his competitors jealous, the numbers have been backed up elsewhere.

JATO Dynamics, one of the world's foremost providers of automotive business intelligence, had similar totals, putting sales of the Tesla Model Y (1.23 million) ahead of the Toyota RAV4 (1.07 million) and Toyota Corolla (1.01 million).

According to JATO Dynamics global analyst Felipe Munoz, the company's aggressive price cuts and the Model Y's reputation as a reliable electric vehicle boosted sales

It's an impressive feat given that electric models are still nowhere near the most popular vehicle type in the wider market and pessimism about the technology has persisted for some consumers.

But the message appears to be getting through, with more and more motorists convinced that buying a vehicle that produces zero tailpipe pollution is feasible and fits with their lifestyles.

In addition to the factors noted above, increasing availability of charging points is encouraging motorists to go electric, while government incentives, such as those in the United States in 2023, have provided enticing discounts for electric vehicle purchases.

Musk famously isn't short on confidence, but the claims he made in a 2021 first-quarter earnings call suggesting that the Model Y would be the best-selling vehicle in the world by the following year seemed far-fetched.

Musk's prediction was off by only a year, though, as Teslarati noted, and the Model Y only began reaching customers in 2020.

"The increase in global sales of the Model Y is unprecedented, particularly for a vehicle in the top 10 best-sellers," Munoz said. "What Tesla has been able to achieve with the Model Y in such a short space of time is simply remarkable."

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity for many reasons. First, the relatively cheap cost of refueling compared to standard dirty-fuel-powered alternatives is a huge benefit, while they also don't require as much maintenance, meaning money saved on trips to the repair shop.

That's not to mention the environmental benefits. With no exhaust fumes, electric vehicles don't produce planet-warming pollution while out on the road, and clean electric models contribute to better air quality by replacing cars that release carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter.

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