Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz are struggling to put up a fight.
Given the sheer scale of market share that Tesla has managed to conquer, particularly thanks to its Model Y and 3, we can no longer look at the American EV manufacturer as an underdog in the automotive arena. This is especially true in the US where, as of the first two months of 2022, the company has managed to claim more market share in the premium sphere than some of the somewhat more established German manufacturers.
Looking at vehicle registrations for January alone, Automotive News reveals via Experian data that Tesla has started off the year ahead of last year's segment leader, BMW. Compared to last year, its registrations have increased by 49% with 37,162 vehicles accounted for.
Experian adds that BMW's registrations for the month rose by a lower 8.2% at 30,563 recorded units. Following it in the premium sphere was Lexus with a 5.5% increase to 24,843 registered units. Mercedes-Benz didn't do so well after seeing a drastic 20% drop to 22,022 registrations for January. Considering that all of these traditional carmakers have an extensive range of products, Tesla's feat is nothing shy of commendable.
Looking at all 12 months of 2021, BMW was able to just about win the crown for the best-selling luxury brand after clearing 347,453 unit registrations. Tesla ended the year off with 342,412 cars registered, translating to a nail-bitingly close finish. Given that Tesla's overall growth for 2021 at 71% was far greater than BMW's 24%, the lead it has gained in January this year is not all that surprising.
As you might have noticed, Experian reports vehicle registrations rather than sales. What this means is it still accounts for a car that has been sold but because the month of sale may differ from the registration date, it does not give an accurate representation of sales for the month. If registration numbers are not disclosed by manufacturers, Experian will provide an educated estimate.
We have to look at Tesla's registration figures for a means of comparison because the brand does not disclose how many cars are sold in the USA alone. Its sales reports are restricted solely to its global performance. In 2021, Tesla saw an impressive year with 936,172 vehicle sales worldwide, although this does not compare to BMW's global figure of over 2.2 million units. No surprises there - BMW is present in more countries. Tesla has been making plans to expand its global footprint but, as is the same for any manufacturer, this takes time.
Also, consider that Tesla is one of the few brands that only sell electric cars. The Tesla Model Y was the most popular model of the family with 18,549 units registered. The Model 3 followed this closely with 13,604 unit registrations. The Tesla Model S and X closed the month with 3,903 and 1,106 registrations respectively. How did these cars compare to their EV peers in January 2022?
The only cars able to put up a fight with the Model S and X were the Ford Mustang Mach-E at 2,781 registrations, the Nissan Leaf with 1,479, and the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 at 1,253. The Volkswagen ID.4 and Kia Niro didn't fare too badly with 1,153 and 1,146 reservations respectively. The relatively costly Porsche Taycan struggled to breach the 1,000 unit mark as it brought in a confirmed registration number of 972 cars, but we expect all these numbers to become similar as the EV craze gains momentum. Still, Tesla has a strong lead and isn't easing up anytime soon.