We previously reported that Tesla appeared to be a close second to BMW in US luxury car sales for 2021. However, we've also mentioned that – depending on specifics related to Q4 sales, especially related to December 2021 – Tesla may have sold more cars than BMW. We're not just talking about EVs here, but all vehicles sold.
Tesla doesn't report its US sales separately from its sales across the globe. In many countries, the brand is required to report sales, so its US sales must be gleaned from compiling global data and working backward to determine how many EVs it sold on our shores.
In addition, organisations like Cox Automotive have access to more data, such as registration information, to help figure out exactly how many cars Tesla sold in the US over a given period of time. While the figures aren't likely exact, such organisations don't typically publish the numbers until they're certain they've gone to great lengths to assure they're as accurate as possible.
That said, Cox has suggested that Tesla outsold BMW in the US in 2021. The automotive services company shared:
"Tesla didn't only dominate the EV market, Tesla dominated the overall luxury market, outselling Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz in the U.S."
Cox estimates that Tesla sold an impressive 352,471 cars in the States last year, which marks a 71 percent surge over the 205,600 Tesla vehicles sold in the US in 2020. Cox also notes that a large chunk of Tesla's US sales were Model Y crossovers. According to Cox Automotive's report, Tesla sold 190,393 Model Y crossovers and 121,877 Model 3 saloon in the US in 2021.
Meanwhile, BMW sold a reported 336,644 vehicles in the US last year. Cox says Lexus sold 304,476 cars and Mercedes sold 276,102.