Interest in EVs has surged in 2023 with Australia’s EV uptake approaching 8% of new car sales for the first time in the month of April. A large part of what has driven this surge has been Australia’s enthusiastic embrace of Tesla vehicles around the country.
Today, I look at Tesla’s sales so far and see how they compare to other large luxury and premium car manufacturers this year.
According to the FCAI April data, Tesla has sold 14,083 battery electric vehicles in the first four months of the year. This has lifted it to become the 8th best-selling car brand in Australia so far in 2023.
That number is more than a threefold increase from 4,469 it had sold in the first four months of last year.
Now, let’s take one of the more popular premium car makers in terms of sales, Volkswagen. The brand has sold 11,905 vehicles by April this year which is up from 7,846 in 2022. That’s an increase of 52% on the year-to-date sales from last year.
During the same period, Volkswagen Group’s luxury brand, Audi, sold 5,872 vehicles which were also up from 3,749 the year before.
Both Volkswagen and Audi faced significant supply chain issues last year and hence are able to deliver a greater number of cars in 2023.
Continuing with the theme of luxury brands, Mercedes-Benz has sold 7,798 vehicles which is below what it delivered last year. During the first four months of 2022, Mercedes-Benz delivered 8,265 vehicles.
The second most popular luxury car maker in Australia is BMW, which has sold 7,135 vehicles and is catching up to Mercedes-Benz. BMW also has more newer models like the smaller electric SUV, iX1, only around the corner.
In recent years, Geely owned Volvo Cars has done quite well in Australia with its lineup of vehicles. Volvo has sold 3,781 vehicles so far in 2023 which is up from 3,477 vehicles in 2022. Volvo also faced supply chain issues last year but the conditions seem to have improved.
Volvo’s vehicle lineup includes the all-electric XC40 Recharge which it launched in 2021 and last year released the C40 Recharge range. Volvo also has plans to fully electrify its range of vehicles and only sell pure EVs in the Australian market by 2026.
Going back to Tesla, which is now ranked in the top 10 brands with just two models, it’s clear that Australians ready to make the switch to an electric vehicle hold the brand in high regard.
With over 14,000 sales so far in 2023 with just two models in the line up the Model 3 and Model Y, Tesla is starting to gain a greater market share of not only the EV space but now also the vehicle market as a whole in Australia.
If this trend continues, the legacy premium and luxury automakers may lose more loyal customers unless they can launch and bring more of what Australian drivers want. That’s EVs.
Riz is the founder of carloop based in Melbourne, specialising in Australian EV data, insight reports and trends. He is a mechanical engineer who spent the first 7 years of his career building transport infrastructure before starting carloop. He has a passion for cars, particularly EVs and wants to help reduce transport emissions in Australia. He currently drives a red Tesla Model 3.