Tesla’s Model 3 is America’s best-selling electric car. Then it became the best-selling luxury car. Now, against the odds, the Model 3 is becoming one of the best-selling sedans in America, period.
Automakers on Tuesday reported monthly and quarterly sales totals. For the three months that ended in September, Tesla delivered more Model 3s than all but four of the top sedans sold in the U.S., regardless of size or price.
It’s an imperfect ranking because Tesla didn’t break out sales by country, and the Model 3 tally included some deliveries to customers in Canada. And the climb comes at a time when Americans prefer crossovers, SUVs and trucks by an ever-wider margin.
Nonetheless, the third-quarter showing was unprecedented for an electric car and a remarkable turnabout for Tesla.
For now, Tesla is the first and only electric car to break into the ranks that are dominated by Japanese and Korean carmakers. And it’s doing so at a higher price than other mass-market cars. The most expensive versions of the Model 3 are currently the most popular, with an average selling price approaching $60,000. Tesla says cheaper versions starting at $35,000—designed to appeal to a wider group of buyers—may be coming around the end of the year.