VFACTS: Tesla could nudge 50,000 deliveries in Australia this year

Tesla is on target to near the 50,000 annual deliveries mark by the end of this year, according to industry sales data so far in 2023.

US electric car-maker Tesla could be on track to report close to 50,000 vehicle deliveries in Australia in a calendar year for the first time – a 150 per cent increase over the prior year – if it maintains its current trajectory, industry sales data shows.

In June 2023 the electric-car specialist surpassed its previous annual sales record of 19,594 deliveries set last year – with half of the year left to run.

VFACTS industry sales data published this week shows that to the end of August 2023, Tesla has reported 32,380 vehicles as ‘sold’ – referring to deliveries, rather than orders taken – in Australia, a result which is 307 per cent up on its sales performance this time last year.

Tesla only began reporting sales data to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) – the peak body for new motor vehicle manufacturers in Australia – in March 2022.

The percentage growth is particularly high as mid last year Tesla was in the thick of coronavirus-induced shutdowns at its Chinese manufacturing facility – which brought production to a halt – and deliveries did not begin to ramp up again in Australia until this time last year.

However the US brand could still be on track to deliver up to 50,000 vehicles in Australia this year, at its current trajectory.

Based on its average of 4047 monthly deliveries up to the end of August 2023, Tesla could have notched up 48,570 ‘sales’ in Australia by the end of 2023.

Using last year's annual new car sales results as a guideline, the projected result of 48,570 deliveries is estimated to place the brand in eighth position overall on the Australian new-car market.

However this result is far from a guarantee, and depends on the company maintaining strong demand and vehicle arrivals towards the end of the year – particularly as production of the Model 3 sedan switches over to the incoming facelift unveiled last week.

The US electric-car giant has turned to price cuts to keep demand high – and its factories running at full speed globally. The most recent price cut for Australia was applied in July 2023, when $3900 was slashed from the RRPs (before Luxury Car Tax and on-road costs) of the Model 3 and Model Y.

Tesla's sales will also need to keep pace with the influx of other electric vehicles – such as the BYD Atto 3 and MG 4 – which are providing electric-car buyers more choice and at lower prices.

Electric cars made up 3.1 per cent of all new car sales in Australia last calendar year; so far this year battery power represents 7.2 per cent of the mix.

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