Tesla Reaches Third in U.S. Luxury Registrations, Overtaking Mercedes

Electric vehicles are hot right now. Even as other automakers struggle to meet demand, registrations for Teslas have risen 76 percent when compared against the same time period a year ago, according to Experian (via Automotive News, paid subscription required). With over 230,000 vehicles registered, America’s sole EV-only manufacturer has jumped ahead of Mercedes-Benz and is closing in on Lexus and BMW, who are the two leaders in luxury vehicle registrations in the U.S.

What the Numbers Say

According to that Experian report, Tesla had a total of 230,855 models registered in the US. This puts Tesla ahead of Mercedes-Benz by 17,147 registered vehicles and into the third most-registered luxury vehicles in the United States. Tesla trails Lexus (who has the second most registrations at 245,864 vehicles) and BMW (at 259,237) in 2021 U.S. registrations between January and September.

If this surge for Tesla continues, then it’s likely that the American EV brand will surpass one or both foreign luxury brands before the end of the year. Also to keep in mind is that this is all happening despite sharp and abrupt rises in price from Tesla on all of their products. Other makers have been charging more, as well, because of the microchip shortage and other supply constraints causing supply issues.

Where the Numbers Were and Weren’t Made

Much of Tesla’s gain—or Mercedes loss, from a certain point of view—was partially due to the ongoing chip shortage, as Automotive News notes that the company was able to partly sidestep the shortage issues by moving some functions from individual microchip to software control. Another factor for Tesla is its massive backlog of pre-orders. This issue also prompted Musk to tweet that they have a “production ramp problem, not a demand problem” when questions arose about the lack of a Hertz fleet contract.

Making up the majority of Tesla registrations is California at 35 percent of all EV registrations among an “82 percent rise in EV registrations compared to last year,” said Automotive News. Tesla will also soon begin expanding its operations in the Golden State, hopefully alleviating its backlog woes.

Despite moving Tesla’s headquarters to Austin, Texas, as well as preparing to open a second U.S. factory there, only about 6 percent of vehicle owners in the Lone Star State are in EVs, let alone Teslas. However, it did register a total of 14,778 registrations between January and September 2021. That is more than double the registrations of Tesla vehicles in Texas over 2020 in the same January-September time span.

Other Luxury Makes Rankings

Just behind Mercedes in U.S. luxury vehicle registrations was Audi with 170,092 registrations, Acura at 130,703, and Cadillac with 104,146. If these trends continue, Tesla could be well on its way to snagging the top spot soon.

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