Elon Musk to get the last laugh as ultra-ambitious Tesla Model Y prediction comes true

Elon Musk is getting the last laugh as his ultra-ambitious prediction about the Tesla Model Y becoming the best-selling car in the world has come true.

People often like to poke fun at Tesla CEO Elon Musk for his predictions that didn’t turn out to be true, and rightfully so, especially for things like his self-driving timeline. But we also have to give credit where credit is due.

Before Tesla ever brought the Model Y to market in 2020, Musk made some bold predictions about how popular the vehicle would become. Musk said that he anticipated Model Y demand would be about twice as high as the demand for the Model 3, which was already the best-selling electric car at the time.

Back in 2016, the CEO estimated the demand for the Model Y between 500,000 and 1,000,000 units per year. That was four years before the vehicle was even released. Musk went so far as to predict that the Model Y would become the best-selling car globally.

Last year, Tesla announced that the electric SUV was on track to catch up to the Toyota Corolla, which has around 1,150,000 sales per year.

With Tesla’s earnings coming tomorrow, we expect the automaker to give an update on that goal. Early numbers for Q1 2023 indicate that the Tesla Model Y is on track to be the best-selling car this year.

Data coming from China indicates that the Model Y took the top spot in China in the first quarter – beating the BYD Song Plus, a PHEV, and VW and Nissan’s best-selling ICE cars. Considering China is the biggest auto market in the world, it bodes well for Tesla.

Furthermore, in the US, the world’s second-biggest auto market, early registration data shows that Model Y is leading for passenger cars, ahead of the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue – though the final data is not in yet.

Data coming from Europe also shows Tesla’s electric SUV leading in several markets, thanks to the ramp-up to 5,000 units per week at Gigafactory Berlin.

Across the four factories that produce the Tesla Model Y, the automaker is expected to achieve approximately 1.5 million units in annual production capacity.

Between that production capacity, the price cuts to the Model Y earlier this year, and the performance in Q1, it looks like Tesla is on track to have the best-selling passenger car in the world.

Electrek’s Take

This is truly incredible. An all-electric car is about to become the world’s best-selling passenger car.

Many people, including people considered to be automotive industry experts, scoffed at Elon Musk’s prediction that the Model Y would achieve that goal.

You have to give credit where credit is due. He saw the potential, and he was right.

Congrats to everyone involved in engineering, designing, producing, selling, and servicing the Model Y. It’s quite an achievement, especially if it’s maintained throughout the whole year, which I think is likely considering the prices and current production rate.