Recent data posted by the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed something quite extraordinary. While Tesla seems to be facing challenges in China, the EV maker’s two best-selling vehicles — the Model Y crossover and the Model 3 sedan — are still dominating their respective segments in some countries abroad.
In December 2022, for example, the Tesla Model Y was listed by the SMMT as the UK’s #1 best-selling vehicle with sales of 10,664 units. Following the Model Y was its sedan sibling, the Model 3, which was listed with sales of 5,704. It should be noted that the two electric cars from Tesla dominated the UK’s auto market in December, and it was not even close.
Following the Model 3 in third place was the Nissan Qashqai, which had 3,506 sales in December. It should be noted that the Qashqai is a far more affordable vehicle than both the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, which made the two all-electric vehicles’ performance in the UK auto market last month even more impressive.
So notable was the Model Y’s presence in the UK’s auto market that it actually made it to the country’s overall best-selling vehicles list for the full year. Over 2022, the Tesla Model Y sold a total of 35,551 units in the UK, making it the country’s third-best-selling vehicle for the entire year. The Model Y was only beaten by the Vauxhall Corsa, which sold a total of 35,910 units, and the Nissan Qashqai, which sold a total of 42,704 vehicles in 2022.
In the UK’s battery electric vehicle sector, the domination of the Model Y and Model 3 was even more notable. As per the data shared by the SMMT, the Tesla Model Y led the pack with a total of 35,551 vehicles sold over the year. Following the Model Y was the Model 3, which saw 19,071 sales in 2022. The Kia e-Niro rounded out the UK’s top three battery electric vehicles, with total sales of 11,197 over the year.
The momentum of the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 appears to have positively affected the UK’s battery-electric vehicle segment as a whole. The SMMT has noted that BEV sales grew by 40.1% in 2022, allowing battery-powered vehicles to command a 16.6% market share during the year. This compares favorably with 2021, when BEVs commanded an 11.6% market share in the UK auto segment.
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