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Move Over, BMW: Tesla Was the Highest Selling Luxury Car Brand in the US Last Year

Despite this, the brand's stock price still took an epic tumble in 2022.

Tesla's current model lineup Tesla

Tesla’s market dominance is expanding.

Elon Musk’s company isn’t just the highest-selling EV maker in the US anymore. Last year also saw it become the country’s best-selling luxury car brand, according to Jalopnik. It’s the first time an American automaker has held that title in nearly a quarter century.

Tesla didn’t just beat its luxury competition last year, it demolished it. The nation’s premier EV brand sold (or delivered, to use the company’s preferred parlance) 491,000 vehicles in 2022, according to information from Automotive News’s Research & Data Center. That number represents a 44 percent increase over what the company sold last year. It was also 158,612 more vehicles than were sold by the second-place luxury marque, BMW, which moved 332,388 cars and SUVs in 2023. Last year, the German automaker sold 23,244 more vehicles than Tesla. BMW can at least take solace in the fact that it still outsold its fiercest rival, fellow German automaker Mercedes-Benz, which sold 286,764 vehicles.

Making the feat more impressive is that the EV brand’s ascendency to the top of the luxury market comes in a year when sales of premium automobiles were down in the US. Finishing behind Tesla, BMW and Mercedes-Benz were Lexus (258,704 vehicles sold), Audi (186,875), Cadillac (134,726), Acura (102,306) and Volvo (102,038).

Despite topping the luxury car sales list, Tesla actually failed to meet its delivery target last year. This is just one of the many reasons why the company’s stock price fell by a shocking 65 percent in 2022 (which, in turn, is part of why Musk lost $200 billion last year). Things aren’t looking much better weeks into the new year, especially outside of the US. Last week, it came out that sales had fallen steeply in China in December. This is especially problematic since the county is the world’s largest car market and is responsible for nearly 40 percent of Tesla’s global sales.

Maybe the launch of the perpetually-delayed Cybertruck will help turn things around?

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