Electric Vehicles Achieve 8% Share of Declining New Vehicle Market in California: Shaking Traditional Automakers
Tesla Model Y blows up the doors of the American bestseller Ford F-Series. But Tesla lost shares in the EV space to the giants he woke up.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
In California, nearly 40,000 battery electric vehicles (EVs) – not counting plug-in hybrids – were sold in the first quarter, accounting for an 8.1% share of all new vehicles sold in the state, data shows registration published by the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) this week. Despite the growth in electric vehicle sales, overall sales of new vehicles in the state fell 2.9% year-on-year to 493,160 units.
Tesla’s Model Y topped the best-selling vehicle of all time in the United States, the F-Series truck, by 6% with 13,786 Model Ys compared to 12,978 F-Series. Tesla’s sales in California during the quarter grew 12.5% year-over-year, to 26,154 vehicles, according to registration data.
But Tesla has lost market share in the electric vehicle space as more mainstream automakers have started rolling out electric vehicle models, now that they have received the memo as to where the growth is, Tesla’s share from 70% of electric vehicles sold in 2020 to 65%. at T1. Electric vehicle sales are a rapidly growing and increasingly important segment in the declining new vehicle market in California:
Tesla, the only automaker that makes vehicles in California, sold 26,154 vehicles across all of its models, giving it a 5.3% share of the overall new vehicle market in the first quarter, up from 4.6% a year ago, which puts it in 6th place overall. :
On this best-selling vehicle of all time in the United States, the F series.
Ford sold 12,978 F-series trucks in California. It was for years the best-selling vehicle in the United States, overtaking cars and trucks, but not in California. In terms of first-quarter California registrations, the F-series was overtaken by four models, including three Toyota plus the Tesla Model Y.
In the Top Dozen, there are four Toyota models, three Honda models and two Tesla models (number of registrations in brackets):
- Toyota RAV4 (17,266)
- Toyota Camry (15,526)
- Tesla Model Y (13,786)
- Toyota Corolla (13,180)
- Ford F series (12,978)
- Honda Civic 12 942
- Toyota Tacoma (12,515)
- Ram collecting (12,477)
- Chevrolet Silverado Truck (12,049)
- Honda Accord (10,839)
- Honda CR-V (10,339)
- Tesla Model 3 (9,731)
California is a tough market. Overall, new vehicle sales peaked in 2016, similar to the United States, and then started to decline, similar to the United States. In 2019, they had fallen 5.4% from the peak of 2016. Then in 2020, sales fell another 22%.
In this environment, automakers are looking for growth where they can. In terms of revenue, they are raising prices and turning to more expensive models and trim sets. And in terms of unit sales growth, automakers have now discovered electric vehicles. All of the major automakers already have, or will soon have, electric vehicles on the market.
In the Near Luxury category, Tesla sold 9,731 Model 3. The BMW 3 Series finished second with 2,634 sales. In fact, Tesla sold more Model 3s in the first quarter than the other four competitors in this class combined: BMW 3 Series, Lexus ES, Mercedes C-Class and Lexus IS.
In the luxury compact SUV category, Tesla sold 13,786 Model Y, more than the next four competitors combined: Audi Q5, Lexus NX; Mercedes GLC; and BMW X3.
The Chevrolet Bolt, GM’s EV model from several years ago – which GM doesn’t even try to sell – was number two in the scorned subcompact car category with 2,839 vehicles, behind the Nissan Versa (2,995).
But in the luxury and premium sports car category, Tesla’s aging Model S (889) was beaten by the BMW 5 Series (1852), Mercedes E-Class (1788) and Porsche 911 (974). .
Later this year and next year, traditional automakers will be offering more models of electric vehicles across the spectrum, in larger quantities and with larger marketing budgets. It should therefore be interesting to know how the battle for market share will take shape, whether the demand for electric vehicles can drive new vehicle sales enough in California to reach a new high, or if growth continues to falter at the future, and it’s just a battle for market share in a declining market, with electric vehicles growing and ICE vehicles continuously declining.
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