Tesla topped Toyota in California deliveries in Q2

Tesla delivered more cars than Toyota in California in the second quarter of 2023, demonstrating the strong momentum of EVs in the largest U.S. new-car market.

Toyota has been the longtime best-selling brand in California, but its 67,482 registrations for Q2 were just behind Tesla’s 69,212 registrations, according to a California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) report. Tesla registrations were up 62.3%, while Toyota registrations were down 8.3%, the report said.

Toyota still had the biggest market share of any brand in California for the first half of 2022, at 14.7% to second-place Tesla’s 13.6% share. That market share is already higher than the 11% Tesla took in California for the whole of 2022, though.

California EV market share for first half of 2023 (via CNCDA)

California EV market share for first half of 2023 (via CNCDA)

The Tesla Model Y also continued its run as the top-selling model in California. Tesla’s smaller crossover is also the top-selling vehicle nationwide, excluding pickup trucks.

The Japanese automaker also had four of the eight best-selling vehicles in main market segments tracked in the report, including the Camry sedan, Tacoma pickup, RAV4 compact SUV, and Highlander three-row SUV. The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y were also best-selling in their segments as the organization divides them.

New California EV registrations were up overall, growing 125% in the first half of the year. EVs also made up 21.1% of the California new-car market in the first half of year, compared to annual market share of 16.4% for 2022.

2024 Toyota Camry

2024 Toyota Camry

California has long been the leader in plug-in car sales. In the first quarter of 2022, it accounted for 40% of U.S. EV and plug-in hybrid sales, according to numbers released by the California Energy Commission and interpreted by electric vehicle advocacy organization Veloz at the time.

The lack of EV entries is likely hurting Toyota’s performance in California. Will it pull any of its future projects forward?

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