Tesla Sales Forecasted to Surpass 5% Market Share, Tops in Luxury

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is expected to top luxury vehicle sales
Tesla is expected to top luxury vehicle sales
Kelley Blue Book

Cox Automotive, the world's largest automotive services and technology provider, has released a forecast predicting that Tesla will lead the luxury market in Q1 2023 with sales of 180,000 units, a gain of nearly 40% from Q1 2022. As a result, Tesla is expected to post solid sales gains and surpass a market share of 5% for the first time. This marks a significant achievement for the electric car maker as it continues to gain market share in the luxury car market.

Improved Inventory and Lowered Prices to Spark Demand

By far, Tesla will be the top luxury-vehicle seller in the U.S. in Q1, with sales more than double that of BMW or Mercedes. This impressive performance is likely due to Tesla's innovative technology, sleek designs, and rising brand recognition.

Tesla's success in Q1 2023 is expected to be primarily driven by improved inventory levels and lowered prices. According to Cox Automotive, new-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, which has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. Tesla also lowered its prices in the first quarter to spark demand.

Tesla's Record Quarter

Tesla's Q1 2023 sales are expected to reach 180,000, a record quarter for the company in the U.S. In addition, the company's growth trajectory continues to outpace its competitors, with Tesla's market share forecasted to surpass 5% for the first time. This puts Tesla on track to achieve its goal of selling 1 million electric vehicles per year, an ambitious target the company has set for itself.

Strong Outlook for Tesla

Cox Automotive's forecast is good news for Tesla investors and enthusiasts. The electric car maker has been expanding its production capacity to meet the rising vehicle demand. Tesla's Model Y, launched in 2020, has been a hit with customers, with the company ramping up production to meet the high demand. Tesla also plans to launch the Cybertruck, its first all-electric pickup truck, in 2022.

As more consumers look to switch to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint, Tesla's growth prospects are expected to remain strong. The company's continued innovation in the electric car space and aggressive expansion plans could help it solidify its position as a leader in the automotive industry.

Other Key Take Aways from Cox

The release suggests a positive surprise for U.S. auto sales in Q1 2023. Still, supply constraints and affordability issues are expected to put a ceiling on what's possible for the rest of the year. Despite these challenges, Tesla's continued growth trajectory and strong performance in the luxury market are promising signs for the electric car maker.

General Motors is expected to finish Q1 as the top seller of new vehicles in the U.S., with sales volume forecasted to increase by over 15% year over year to reach 587,000 units. However, sales will drop from Q4 2022 when GM's volume hits 618,692.

The Bottleneck Has Passed, but Prices Are Too High

New-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, up roughly 70% from the volume recorded in the early months of 2022. This has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates.

Fleet sales for the entire year of 2023 are forecasted at 2.2 million, up 23% from 2022, when 1.8 million units were sold to commercial buyers.

Cox Automotive has adjusted its full-year new-vehicle sales forecast to 14.2 million, an increase of nearly 3% from 2022.

Elevated prices and average auto loan rates above 8% are expected to hold back new-vehicle sales for the rest of the year. The typical new-vehicle loan payment was more than $750 a month in Q1, which is out of reach for many households.

Tesla's sales forecasted to surpass 5% market share in Q1 2023 is a significant milestone for the electric car maker. Tesla's success in the luxury market is due to its innovative technology, sleek designs, and raising brand recognition. In addition, the company's improved inventory levels and lowered prices have helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. With a record quarter forecasted for Q1 2023, Tesla's outlook remains strong, and the company continues to lead the charge in the electric car market.

Tesla Update 2024.20 Lets Matrix Headlights Adapt to Curves, Adds Supercharger Leaderboards and More

By Karan Singh

Tesla has been on a roll with updates recently, and now update 2024.20 was released to employees over the weekend. This update builds on the many features in the Spring Update and adds a few big improvements.

Adaptive Headlights

New updates to Adaptive Headlights are arriving for European cars with matrix headlights. The new update allows the headlights to adapt to curves in the road ahead of you, enabling better illumination. Having the adaptive headlights work for curves is the second major update for matrix headlights. Update 2024.8 added adaptive high-beam support, letting your high beams stay on longer by turning off select LEDs in the headlights.

Update 2024.2 first brought adaptive high beams to the new Model 3, before it was later introduced to older vehicles with matrix headlights. At this time, it’s not clear whether the improvements to headlights around curves will be exclusive to matrix headlights or also support the new Model 3.

How to Tell If You Have Matrix Headlights

How do you know if you have matrix headlights on your Tesla? On the outer edge of the headlight, there will be a large, round projector dome, like in the image below. If there isn’t a dome, those are standard non-matrix headlights.
Another way to tell is to run a stock light show while facing a wall. If the Tesla logo, in letters, pops up, you have matrix headlights.

Matrix headlights have a circular dome projector on the outer edge.
Matrix headlights have a circular dome projector on the outer edge.

For now, North America still does not have adaptive headlight support, mostly due to legislative and testing issues in the United States. The US recently approved adaptive headlights, and a Tesla employee mentioned they’re working on it. Canada has legalized adaptive headlights since 2018, so we see this deployed in North America at some point in the future.

Supercharger Races on Beach Buggy Racing 2

Tesla is still improving its Arcade functionality, with the addition of local leaderboards at Superchargers in Beach Buggy Racing 2. It appears that each individual Supercharger site will have its own leaderboard, which drivers can compete on while their cars charge. Tesla says there will also be special races to compete in this Beach Buggy Racing 2 update.

Tesla owners can plug in and play with a controller, the touchscreen, or their vehicle’s steering wheel. Thanks to steer-by-wire on the Cybertruck, the actual wheels on the truck won’t move like they do on other Tesla models when playing the game.

We continue to hope that future refreshes to the S, 3, X, and Y will eventually receive steer-by-wire as well, as the feature has quite a few unique uses, whether driving or parked.

Autopilot Strikes and Suspension

An updated Autopilot Strike system, similar to the one that is on Tesla’s upcoming FSD V12.4 update, is on 2024.20 as well. At five strikes, users will be suspended from the use of Autopilot like before, but now Tesla will remove a strike for each 7-day period the driver goes without receiving a strike.

FSD 12.4 also improves vision-based monitoring and removes the steering wheel nag, but that’s not in this latest Tesla update, but will likely be added in the future.

Tesla tends to release new Autopilot features in their FSD updates before releasing them to the wider public for regular Autopilot use.

Hot Weather Improvements

The last set of user-end improvements coming in 2024.20 will be related to hot weather, the opposite of 2024.2.6’s cold weather update. This set of changes intends to improve AUTO mode HVAC performance in hot weather, helping to cool down the cabin faster, while also maintaining comfort at lower noise levels.

There have been several updates in the last six months to Tesla’s HVAC systems, all helping to deliver a quieter, more comfortable experience, with one of the last major ones introducing cool-down or warm-up periods before blowing air into the car cabin.

Tesla Software in China Shows 'Employee FSD Beta Program' as Tesla Prepares for Launch

By Karan Singh

Chris Zeng, a Chinese Tesla content creator on X, recently posted an image with Tesla’s Spring Update – 2024.14, with the words “Employee FSD Beta Program: Registered.”

He also confirmed that although this text appears in the vehicle, there are no actual FSD features enabled yet.

FSD Beta Coming to China

Recently, Tesla began to offer Enhanced Autopilot subscriptions in China, and Chinese corporate giant Baidu announced that it will be providing enhanced 3D mapping for Tesla vehicles as well.

On a recent trip to China, Elon Musk spoke with Premier Li Qiang on the rollout of FSD to China. Later follow-ups said that “it may be possible [for FSD to arrive in China] very soon”.

FSD Shadow Mode

Tesla’s cars can operate FSD in Shadow Mode – which means that the vehicle is running FSD in the background without any real output except analytics. This is a common software practice that lets software engineers compare the process they’re testing against an existing known output and compare the results. In this case, Tesla compares what FSD would do to what the driver does, and any discrepancies are reported back to be analyzed.

With this information, we could guess that FSD has been operating in Shadow Mode in China for a while, and this new Employee FSD Beta Program will be the beginning of employee testing in China, providing even more data for the end-to-end process that is FSD V12.

FSD Beta, not Supervised FSD

Most interestingly, the photo refers to “FSD Beta” instead of “Supervised,” which Tesla started using with FSD 12.3.3 in March 2024. This could imply that FSD in China isn’t ready for a “Supervised” variant, and it’s considered to be in more of a testing stage.

In the photo, we can also see that it says “Wave 1,” which is what Tesla calls the group of employees who receive “pre-release” Tesla updates on their personal vehicles. Wave 1 serves as a final test for software before its released to the public. In most cases, the software is rolled out publicly within a couple of weeks, however, there have been times when bugs are found and Tesla releases revision before a public release.

Release Date

Prior to larger releases here in North America, we generally see Tesla ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) testing and verification vehicles on the roads, which have not yet been spotted in China.

Whether these vehicles will be needed in China is up for debate, but once FSD features begin rolling out to employees, we should get a better idea of a public release in China.

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