The final numbers aren't out yet, but Tesla may have beaten BMW already.
Electric vehicle trailblazer Tesla has been on an upward trajectory for years. With the introduction of the Model S and subsequent vehicles, Musk's carmaker can be credited for accelerating the adoption of EVs.
While it's not without its issues - production of the Cybertruck has been delayed yet again and there are myriad quality complaints from customers - the brand may just become the most popular luxury carmaker in the US.
According to Automotive News, Tesla - which does not separate domestic sales figures from global numbers - may surpass BMW as America's best-selling luxury car brand. This is based on data from US new car registrations, which lags behind sales by a couple of weeks.
Citing data from financial firm Experian, Automotive News shows that the latest registration numbers for November 2021 suggest Tesla's sales supremacy. As of November last year, 303,246 Tesla vehicles were registered in the United States. In the same period, Munich-based BMW shifted 336,644 units.
The automotive news publication does note, however, that there is a difference between sales figures and vehicle registrations, as a car can be sold one month and registered the next.
With over 42,000 Tesla registrations in 2021, it's very likely that it would outdo BMW - if it sold as many cars or more in December. Speaking to Automotive News, Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds remarked that even if Tesla doesn't clinch sales honors, it's still "remarkable that they have risen to the top in a short period of time, considering collapse seemed entirely possible a few years ago."
But it's not just industry experts who are anticipating a very possible sales takeover. Twitter user Troy Teslike - a well-known Tesla fan with over 46,000 followers - has approximated sales of over 360,000 cars last year. In the past, the Tesla aficionado has been successful in estimating the brand's sales figures with minimal error.
Over the last decade or so, Tesla has not only rewritten the luxury car market rule book and poached clients from the popular European luxury brands but has also appealed to an entirely new type of customer. "[Tesla] is offering something a bit different to lure in affluent customers who may have not prioritized buying a Mercedes-Benz or BMW in the past, even if they could afford it," said Caldwell.
As for whether Tesla establishes dominance in the US luxury car sales race is yet to be seen, but it certainly looks promising for Elon Musk's forward-thinking EV maker.