Tesla dominates car sales in California with impressive growth in 2021 and 2 of top 5 best-selling cars

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Tesla is dominating car sales in California with impressive growth in 2021 that has resulted in having 2 of the top 5 best-selling cars in the state.

California might not be Tesla’s home market anymore, now that the company has officially moved its headquarters to Texas, but the state is still its biggest market in the US.

The company has been growing steadily in the state with the introduction of the Model Y, which had a breakout year in 2021.

New data from the California New Car Dealer Association (CNCDA) shows that the Model Y is the best-selling compact SUV in the state and it took the second overall best-selling car position – almost beating the much cheaper Toyota Camry.

Here were the top five best-selling cars in California in 2021:

  1. Toyota Camry: 61,599 units
  2. Tesla Model Y: 60,394 units
  3. Honda Civic: 59,818 units
  4. Toyota RAV4: 59,153 units
  5. Tesla Model 3: 53,572 units

As you can see, the Model 3 also did well – finishing in the top five and making it two electric vehicles in the top five best-selling cars in the state in 2021.

Tesla grew 69% in the state in 2021 – more than any other automaker except for Genesis, but the latter had extremely low volumes in 2020 that artificially boosted its growth percentage in 2021.

With more than half of all BEV sales in California in 2021, Tesla helped the state achieve a 9.5% BEV market share:

This is strong consistent growth that is expected to accelerate with more availability of compelling EVs at higher volumes in the next few years, especially electric pickup trucks.

In every segment where there is a compelling high volume EV available, the EV dominates the segment.

Model 3 and Model Y own 47% and 43% of their respective segments in California:

Model S and Model X didn’t do as well due to not having any deliveries for the first half of the year with the design refresh, but they likely would have had similar results in their own segments based on their performance during the second half of the year.

For example, Model S still had 10% market share in its segment in 2021 despite deliveries only starting in June:

Interestingly, even GM’s Chevy Bolt EV, which had a tough year due to a battery recall and sales being halted for most of the second half of the year, dominated the subcompact segment:

With about a dozen new EV models launching this year, we can expect an even better picture for the EV market in California in 2022.


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