In October 2021, at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, Tesla’s Board Chair Robyn Denholm said, “By 2030, we are aiming to sell 20 million electric vehicles per year.” The statement was not taken seriously by almost any media as they compared the goal with the reality by then. Last year, Tesla delivered more than 930,000 vehicles around the world. That means that in 9 years, the company will need to multiply its sales by more than 20.

There might not be consensus among the analyst about this ambitious goal. At the end, many things can happen in 9 years. However, many of them including me, would strongly agree that what Elon Musk said regarding the Model Y that it “will be the best-selling vehicle of any kind globally” in 2023, is quite feasible.

More than 1.6 million units by the end of 2022

The latest sales data from the first quarter confirms the strong growth that Tesla keeps having all over the world. The preliminary results published by the company show that it delivered a new quarterly record of 310,000 units, up by 68% compared to Q1 2021, and by 250% compared to Q1 2020.

Tesla quarterly global deliveries 2018 - 2022 graphic

The volume increased by only 0.5% compared to Q4 2021, when Tesla delivered almost 309,000 units. Nevertheless, the first quarter of the year has been traditionally the lowest selling one for Tesla since 2018, when the Model 3 hit the market. Based on the previous years performance over the quarters, the Californian maker is expected to deliver between 1.6 and 1.8 million units by the end of this year.

Tesla quarterly deliveries by model, market share graphic

That total would place Tesla almost at the same level of Audi, which delivered 1.68 million cars in 2021.

The Model Y, the protagonist in Q1 2022

There are many reasons why to be optimistic about Tesla. One of them is the strong results posted by the Model Y, the latest product of the brand. This midsize SUV occupied privileged positions in the model sales ranking in many countries during the first quarter.

For instance, it was the top-seller in Norway; the 2nd best-seller in Austria and the 5th in Denmark and Sweden. In the larger markets, the Model Y posted very good results too. For example, it was the 6th most popular new car in the UK, the 13th top-seller in China* and the 14th in USA. During the month of March, it led the model rankings in Austria, Denmark, the UK, Luxembourg, and Norway, and was in the top 10 in Switzerland, China**, Sweden, and Finland.

Car sales March and Q1 2022 Model 3 and Model Y in sales ranking graphic

This vehicle started production at the Fremont plant in January 2020 and started deliveries on 13 March 2020. In only 24 months, it is already among the best-selling cars in many of the world’s most important car markets.

In the meantime, the Model 3 was among the top selling cars in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK, Norway, New Zealand, and USA during the first quarter.

Based on these results, the increasing interest from consumers on driving electric, more incentives from governments around the world, and higher prices of petrol, Tesla has the perfect conditions to meet the goals of its executives, at least the short-term ones.



The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is an industry specialist at JATO Dynamics.