BMW achieved a record-breaking year in 2023, selling 2,253,835 cars, which is 7.3% more than the previous year. The company successfully defended its luxury sales crown by outperforming Mercedes-Benz and Audi once again. However, the meteoric rise of Tesla cannot be ignored. While some may argue that Tesla isn’t a traditional premium brand, therefore rendering this comparison moot, its remarkable success is noteworthy.

How did Tesla fare last year? It shipped 1,808,581 vehicles, a whopping 38% increase YoY. The Model 3 and Model Y did the heavy lifting as combined sales of these two electric vehicles amounted to 1,739,708 units. The remaining 68,874 deliveries were for the bigger and more expensive Model S and Model X. Shipments of the Cybertruck commenced near the end of last year, but only a handful of those were delivered in 2023.

Tesla image Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Exceeding 1.8M sales in a year is impressive when you consider Tesla only sells EVs and just four models, plus the Cybertruck newcomer. It got dangerously close to taking down Audi from the last place on the luxury sales podium as the Ingolstadt-based marque delivered around 1.9M vehicles. That means the gap narrowed down to just about 100,000 vehicles in 2023, even though Audi posted a 17% jump in shipments compared to 2022.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi boast vast lineups featuring numerous gasoline, diesel, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles. Witnessing Tesla consistently close in on the German luxury trio each year with its focus solely on EVs is remarkable, despite the controversies generated by Elon Musk over the years.

Speaking of which, the head honcho told analysts a year ago that the automaker had the capability to assemble as many as two million cars in 2023. However, that target was not met, as Tesla ended the year with 1,845,985 vehicles manufactured. The CEO’s statement implies that the EV-only company has the manufacturing potential to meet an even higher demand.

Source: Tesla, BMW