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The all-electric Tesla Model 3 has a very good chance of outselling the Toyota Camry in Australia this year.
Just let that sink in for a minute.
No this is not 10 or 15 years from now. This is Australia and it’s 2021.
This highlights a couple of things. Firstly, it shows how much traditional sedans have fallen out of favour – especially models powered by internal combustion engines. It also shows the power of Tesla and shines a light on the brand’s enormous popularity in Australia.
It’s incredible when you consider that the relatively affordable Camry ranges in price from $30,990 to $46,990 before on-road costs, while the Tesla Model 3 starts at $59,990 and tops out at $86,629 before on-roads.
Let’s look at the numbers. To the end of September this year, Toyota has sold 10,213 examples of the Camry sedan.
While Tesla is one of very few automotive manufacturers that does not report its sales figures via the monthly VFACTS reports, according to Tesla shipping tracker, Vedaprime, approximately 9100 Model 3s have arrived on Australian shores so far this year.
Yes, that is different from actual deliveries, but these numbers are all we have given Tesla’s refusal to provide sales data.
That means there is a gap of just over 1000 units between the Camry and the Model 3.
Toyota is averaging about 1150 Camry sales a month in 2021. If it keeps that pace, the mid-sizer should end 2021 with a little over 13,600 sales.
Tesla will easily surpass 10,000 Model 3 sales in Australia this year. But can it catch the Camry?
It’s a big challenge, but Tesla’s Shanghai factory that now supplies the Australian-market Model 3 is fulfilling orders in decent time.
One thing that is certain is that Tesla will record more sales in Australia this year than all other EVs combined. So far this year, Australians have bought 3568 battery electric vehicles, representing a 191 per cent year-on-year increase, but it’s well behind Tesla.
Tesla’s Model 3 tally of just over 9000 units is actually Tesla’s total 2021 year-to-date Australian tally. That’s because it has not recorded any Model S or Model X sales Down Under in 2021 and it has only sold about 2300 globally.
The reason for this is Tesla closed its Model S and X Fremont assembly lines earlier this year to retool for the updated versions of both models, including the tri-motor Model S Plaid.
The American brand's projected 2021 tally is likely to exceed the total number of cars it has sold here since it started operations in Australia in 2014 through to the end of 2020.