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Tesla Model Y has probably already won the Europe sales race

The premium midsize SUV finished the first 10 months at No. 1, and if recent trends prevail, its best sales months for the quarter are still to come.

in Automotive News Europe, by Douglas A. Bolduc, 23-11-2023

Sure, it’s a bit early, but it’s probably safe to crown the Tesla Model Y as Europe’s top-seller for 2023, despite there still being two months to go.

Why? Because even in a down month for the premium midsize SUV it maintained a commanding lead over its closest competitor, the Dacia Sandero, based on January-October sales, according to market researcher Dataforce.

If recent sales trends for Tesla prevail, Model Y sales will be even stronger during the final two months of the year. But we will get to that in a minute.

First, we need to explain what has happened since last week?

When we at Automotive News Europe reported the preliminary October and 10 month sales numbers last Friday, the Sandero had taken a small lead of 289 over the Model Y in the year-to-date face (184,088 to 183,799). That was based on Dataforce’s preliminary figures that represented 92 percent of sales in the European Union, the EFTA countries and the U.K.

But the remaining 8 percent that still needed to be counted included a key market for Tesla — Sweden — where the Model Y is the best-seller.

In Sweden the Model Y has accounted for 14,139 sales through October compared with 1,048 for the Sandero, according to Dataforce’s finalized 10-month numbers.

Sweden along with the other markets missing from the preliminary data added 28,718 sales to the Model Y’s 10-month total and 13,394 to the Sandero’s.

Therefore, not only did the Model Y erase the deficit seen in the preliminary numbers, it finished the 10 months with a 15,035 sale lead over the Sandero (212,517 to 197,482), according to Dataforce.

This happened despite the Model Y finishing in 20th place in the sales-by-model race in October.

Yes, that 15,035 sales lead over the Sandero is less than the 26,276 sales lead the Model Y had over the small hatchback after nine months, but it still seems to be an insurmountable advantage to overcome.

Here’s why.

Dataforce’s numbers whiz, Benjamin Kibies, analyzed Tesla’s European sales numbers for ANE and made an interesting discovery. Since 2018 the U.S. automaker has gotten 10 percent of its sales in the first month of a quarter, 23 percent in the second month and a whooping 67 percent in the final month. The chart below shows how Tesla has fared during the first 10 months of this year.

The Model Y has accounted for 73 percent of Tesla’s 291,404 total sales after 10 months.

The slow start to each quarter meant that in January the Model Y ranked No. 32 before winning the months of February and March. In April the SUV was No. 16 before rising to No. 1 in both May and June. In July it was No. 17 and then won the months of August and September.

This year the Model Y has been Europe’s top-seller six times; the Sandero was No. 1 in January, April and October, while the Volkswagen T-Roc was No. 1 in July.

The Model Y would be the first electric car to finish the year as Europe’s No. 1 seller. It would also be the first midsize car, the first premium car and the first non-European car in the modern era to do the same — barring any dramatic unexpected changes.

And given that the industry and the world have endured COVID-19, the start of two wars and a lengthy supply crisis all since 2020, let’s agree that there could be a factor that derails the Model Y from being No. 1. But at the moment, that seems unlikely.



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