Tesla Model Y topples Toyota Corolla as global best-seller. Check details

The Toyota Corolla, a dominant force for two decades as the world's best-selling car, faces a challenge from the rising popularity of electric vehicle
According to Jato Dynamics, Tesla sold 12.2 lakh units of the Model Y worldwide in 2023 (AFP)
According to Jato Dynamics, Tesla sold 12.2 lakh units of the Model Y worldwide in 2023

The automotive world witnessed a historic shift in 2023 as the electric car revolution gained momentum. For nearly two decades, the Toyota Corolla was keeping the crown of being the best-selling car globally. However, the Tesla Model Y has dethroned the iconic Corolla, marking a significant turning point in consumer preferences.

According to Jato Dynamics, Tesla sold 12.2 lakh units of the Model Y worldwide in 2023, a 64 per cent increase year-over-year. This surge propelled the electric SUV to the top of the sales charts, while the Corolla's sales dipped by 19 per cent, relegating it to fourth place.

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This trend reflects a global shift towards SUVs. The Toyota RAV4 secured the second spot with 10.8 lakh units sold, followed by the Honda CR-V at 8,46,000 units. Notably, the Tesla Model 3 also made the top ten, further solidifying the brand's growing market share.

Tesla's entry into India?

While the electric car revolution is gaining traction globally, India presents a fascinating case. The world's second-most populous country has a thriving automotive market, but electric vehicles (EVs) still constitute a minuscule portion of total sales. Factors like limited charging infrastructure, higher upfront costs of EVs compared to traditional petrol and diesel cars, and range anxiety continue to impede widespread adoption.

However, there's a spark of hope. The Indian government is actively promoting EV adoption through subsidies and tax breaks. Several domestic and international carmakers are also setting up shop in India, with Tesla itself eyeing a potential entry.

In early 2024, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, sparked excitement in the Indian market by expressing confidence and hinting at a potential manufacturing plant. However, those plans seemingly stalled. Now, following the recent Indian general election results, Musk's social media activity has reignited speculation about Tesla's India ambitions.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election victory, Musk took to a social media platform (formerly known as Twitter) to offer his congratulations. The message, "Congratulations @narendramodi on your victory in the world's largest democratic elections! Looking forward to my companies doing exciting work in India," has been interpreted by many as a hint of renewed interest in the Indian market.

Also Read : Tesla CEO congratulates PM Modi on election win, hints at possible India entry

The success of Tesla's entry hinges on addressing key concerns. Establishing a robust charging infrastructure network across the country is crucial to alleviate range anxiety. Additionally, offering competitive pricing through local production can make Tesla cars more attractive to Indian buyers.

The road ahead

The dethroning of the Toyota Corolla signifies a shift in the automotive landscape. While Toyota remains a dominant force globally, Tesla's rise and the increasing popularity of SUVs underscore the evolving consumer preferences.

As countries like India invest in EV infrastructure and address affordability concerns, we can expect a similar trend of electric car adoption in the near future.

First Published Date: 20 Jun 2024, 06:20 AM IST

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