Tesla's Model Y is the world's best selling car in Q1 of 2023
The Tesla Model Y made a monumental leap in Q1 2023, emerging as the world's best-selling car. Not just the best-selling EV, or the best-selling SUV, but the world's best-selling vehicle, period.
According to industry analysts JATO Dynamics, this marks the first occasion in history where an EV has claimed this title. The growth trajectory of Model Y sales globally over recent years had hinted at this milestone, fulfilling Tesla's earlier predictions that demand could reach a million units per year.
JATO Dynamics' Revealing Analysis: Model Y Trumps Corolla
Data compiled by JATO Dynamics analyst Felipe Munoz reveals a compelling story. Model Y's Q1 sales reached 267,200, outperforming Toyota Corolla's 256,400 sales. The comparison becomes even more dramatic when considering other top contenders like Toyota's Hilux, RAV4, and Camry. Model Y's sales, largely driven by Tesla's significant price cuts, are escalating, while Corolla sales appear to be dwindling. This dynamic is particularly impressive considering the Model Y's introduction to the market a year later than the Corolla (2019 vs 2018).
The Legacy of the Toyota Corolla: A Reign Unchallenged Until Now
For decades, the Toyota Corolla has held an uncontested reign as the world's best-selling car, with its affordability, reliability, and universal availability contributing to its enduring popularity. Its 2018 iteration further consolidated this status, offering consumers a well-rounded package that catered to a wide variety of tastes and requirements across different markets.
The Corolla was indeed a global favorite, securing sales in practically every corner of the world, from North America and Europe to Asia. Its broad availability in multiple body styles — sedan, hatchback, and wagon — further expanded its appeal to a diverse customer base. Despite this formidable legacy, the emergence of the Model Y has marked a shift in consumer preferences. It heralds a new era in which electric vehicles can claim the top spot in global car sales.
The High Price Tag vs. Accessibility: Tesla's Strategic Moves
Tesla's ambitious projections regarding the Model Y have come to fruition, culminating in an average quarterly sales increase from last year's 189k to this year's Q1 figures. With this growth rate, Model Y is on track to exit 2023 with over 1 million sales. A feat previously only achieved by Toyota Corolla, which sold 1.12 million units in the previous year.
One may wonder how an EV with a price tag of approximately $40k (after credits) could outperform the more affordable Corolla, priced at $21k for a base model. Despite Model Y's higher cost, Tesla's strategic price cuts have widened its appeal, contributing significantly to its increased market share.
Elon Musk's prediction that the Model Y could become the world's best-selling car seems increasingly plausible. Given its current momentum and the growing demand for EVs, it's likely that Model Y will maintain its leading position, making Tesla's mark in the automotive industry even more indelible.
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Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.
Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.
Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.
The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.
You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.
While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.
It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.
With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.
Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.
Ambient Lighting in Action
While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.
Deciphering the 'T'
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X
Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.
This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!
This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.
Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.
Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades
Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.
Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.
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