The Tesla Model 3 outsold the Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord in California in the fourth quarter of 2019. Tesla’s most affordable sedan beat Toyota and Honda’s in sales despite its higher price tag in the Golden State, which reveals a lot about California and the impending electric disruption brought about by the Model 3.
According to the California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA), the Tesla Model 3 made up 43.7% of the sales in the near-luxury market in California based on new light-vehicle registrations. Over 59K people registered Tesla Model 3s in California last year. The Model 3 competed against and completely dominated the Mercedes C-Class (13.5K), BMW 3-Series (11.4K), Lexus ES (11.3K), and BMW 4-Series (6K) in the near-luxury market.
The Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla do not compete in the same category as the Tesla Model 3, being more affordable vehicles. Yet both cars’ sales figures fell short of the all-electric disruptor. The Honda Accord commanded 28.7% of the mid-size sedan market, with approximately 58,310 registrations. The Toyota Corolla held 20% of the compact car market, with 54,186 recorded registrations by CNCDA.
The Tesla Model 3 was close to surpassing the sales for the Toyota Camry as well. The Camry commanded 31.2% of the mid-size sedan market, with 63,459 units sold. At the rate it is going, the Tesla Model 3 could outsell the Toyota Camry by next year provided that it keeps its momentum. This is something that was thought virtually impossible by electric car critics when the Model 3 was announced.
In general, the CNCDA expects new vehicle registrations in California to decline up to 1.82 million units. The Golden State’s new-vehicle market could also decrease by 3.7 percent from 2019 to 2020. Registrations for the fourth quarter of 2019 marked the eleventh consecutive year-over-year decline in the Californian new-vehicle market. Despite this, however, hybrid and all-electric new car registrations and market share increased in 2019 compared to the year before.
In 2018, there were 84,322 hybrids registered, and they held 4.2% market share. The following year, in 2019, over 100K hybrids were sold, and their market shared increased to 5.5%. Meanwhile, over 94K all-electric vehicles were sold in 2018, and it reached up to 99K in 2019. From 2018 and 2019, EV market share rose from 4.7% to 5.3% in the state.Based on these recently-reported sales figures, it appears that the Tesla Model 3 may have played an essential part in this surge. As of 2019, Tesla ranked in eighth place in the CNCDA’s list of Top 15 Brands in [California]. Tesla’s brand registrations increased by 3.3% in 2019. Only ten other brands were able to accomplish the same feat last year, including BMW, Dodge, Volvo, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, Ram, Mitsubishi, and Porsche.
Interestingly enough, Honda and Toyota registrations decreased in 2019 by 2.4% and 2.9%, respectively. Currently, there has been no direct correlation found between the increased registrations of Tesla’s affordable sedan and the decreased registrations Honda and Toyota’s less pricey options. The CNCDA doesn’t even put the Model 3, Accord, and Corolla in the same category, but it does indicate that the three vehicles are in the same market, labeled: Non-Luxury, Mid-Size & Large Cars.
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