You may have seen the recent Car and Driver article outlining the best selling vehicles in the US for the first quarter of 2023. There weren’t many surprises, except with perhaps Tesla having two models in the Top 10, so I decided to compare this to the Top 10 here in Japan.
(PN: I decided to add Europe and China to this too)
Here are the Top 10 selling US vehicles according to the article;
- Ford F-Series – 170K
- Chevy Silverado – 124K
- RAM Pickup – 105K
- Tesla Model Y – 85K (estimated)
- Toyota RAV4 – 85K
- Nissan Rogue – 76K
- Honda CRV – 67K
- GMC Sierra – 67K
- Toyota Camry – 66K
- Tesla Model 3 – 63K (estimated)
Japan (I’ve included photos since most are JDM-only models – stats acquired here)
1. Honda N-Box – 67K. Japan’s most popular Kei-class car and most popular overall. This is the fifth year it has been Japan’s best selling vehicle.
2. Toyota Yaris – 53K. Perennial Top 3 winner.
3. Toyota Corolla – 51K. The Corolla, in its many guises, is still very popular in its home market.
4. Daihatsu Tanto – 42K. Next most popular Kei van. The new recreational “FunCross” version is a big hit.
5. Toyota Sienta – 37K. Toyota’s smallest 3-row van – new model just introduced this year.
6. Nissan Note – 37K. Another consistent Top 10 finisher.
7. Suzuki Spacia – 33K. Kei van
8. Daihatsu Move – 33K. Kei van (Canbus version shown)
9. Toyota Roomy – 29K. Bigger than kei 2-row tall van.
10. Nissan Roox – 27K. Kei van (developed with Mitsubishi).
So for the US we have four pickups, four SUV/CUVs, and two sedans.
For Japan we have seven vans (five being kei-class) and three sedans/hatchbacks.
Given I’ve driven years in both countries, these lists make sense to me. Going forward, what will be interesting is to see if any BEV models can crack the Japanese Top 10. Tesla is trying hard, but has a long way to go. The new kei-class Nissan Sakura/Mitsubishi ek X EV may have the best chance.
Here’s the top selling cars in Europe-27 ( Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.):
1. Tesla Model Y – 72k
2. Dacia Sandero – 60k
3. VW T-Roc – 55k
4. Peugeot 208 – 53k
5. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa – 53k
6. Toyota Yaris Cross – 53k
7. Fiat/Abarth 500 – 46k
8. Dacia Duster – 45k
9. Renault Clio – 44k
10. VW Golf – 43k
And here’s the top 12 brands in EU-27:
1. VW – 333k
2. Toyota – 220k
3. Peugeot – 179k
4. Audi – 178k
5. Mercedes – 176k
6. Skoda – 167k
7. BMW – 164k
8. Renault – 158k
9. Ford – 147k
10. Dacia – 146k
11. Kia – 137k
12. Hyundai – 132k
And here’s some stats from China, via carnewschina.com:
Note : all brands except BYD and Tesla had declines compared to the previous year. BYD grabbed the #1 spot for the first time in Q1, from VW.
These are the top selling models:
And these are the top EV brands in China. Note: EVs accounted for 22% of the Chinese market, and that number is growing rapidly. What’s important here is that the European and American brands are getting left behind in the rise of EVs in China. This is a huge trend, as Chinese consumers now (rightfully) feel that the Chinese EVs (and Tesla) are more attractive and advanced than European brands (never mind American brands). The Europeans and American brands have been losing market share in China overall, and the trend has them very concerned, to put it mildly. The boom in China for European and American brands is well over; it remains to be seen how well and for how long they can hang on against these headwinds.
Meanwhile, the Chinese are growing their exports of EVs very quickly, to all parts of the globe, Especially Europe, which has the European car companies very worried. Exports to the US are not viable due to the 27.5% import tariff imposed by the Trump administration.
Good God. Not surprised that trucks are a good part of USA top ten! 🤔. In looking at All vehicles shown , cannot find one I would want 😫! So basic and ugly 😫 😪 😩! Hate to repeat myself, but What Ever Happened to CLASS? Makes me even MORE thankful for my Town Car! ! ! 🏆 ✌ 😎
One man’s class is another man’s tack, I guess, life moves on. Enjoy your car, although the real question to ponder might be what happened to Lincoln (or their buyers) that Lincoln could no longer field a market-competitive “luxury” CAR? The last and quite recent Continental was a resounding failure after which Lincoln doubled-down on gussied up Ford SUVs. The Japanese and the Europeans ALL still offer large sedans in that market although the bulk of the sales for all have moved to SUV versions. The other makers’ advantage is that they decided to and are able to sell their vehicles worldwide thus far more potential sales, something else that Lincoln and Cadillac never really succeeded at (although they may not have tried very hard for whatever reason), at least in modern society, i.e. the last fifty years. Nowadays if Pickups and SUVs weren’t popular (pretty much in North America alone), none of the US 3 would have enough sales to survive.
Speaking of which RIP to the conventional Sedan. The Camry is last one left in the Top 10. In a list that formerly included Accords, Civics, Corollas, and Tauruses, the Camry is all by itself. I’m willing to bet a large chunk of Camry sales are fleet sales, i.e. taxis, rentals, etc.
The Tesla Model 3 is also a sedan, nipping at Camry’s heels in that list.
This last point is not really surprising to me. I have long believed that the only reason US and European companies were allowed into China (always with a Chinese company as a local partner) was so that the Chinese companies could sop up design and manufacturing experience. It would appear that this phase is largely complete and that the American and European companies are no longer of much use for China. Outside companies will see fewer and fewer opportunities for success there.
As for the US market, I have only one question: Who buys all of those Nissan Rogues? Are they not sold in those numbers in my area or are they just invisible to me for some reason?
Largely agree. FWIW, the European and US companies can now own their Chinese operations fully, and some have bought out their JV partners or increased their share. The point being is that it’s not that these foreign companies are getting pushed out by any governmental action, but purely by the forces of the market.
Also, it’s worth noting that the most recently successful Chinese car companies like BYD and some others did not have JVs with European and American companies. They simply learned the business on their own, although they certainly didn’t hesitate to copy. One of BYD’s earliest successes was a virtual clone of the Corolla.
The Rogue comes standard with a cloak of invisibility. 🙂
From the sale charts, US is still in love with large vehicles with large internal combustion engine, Japan prefers small K-class wagon, Europe is mixed bag, and China, the world largest vehicle market, clearly leads to EV transformation. BYD finally got its deserved recognition since it caught attention of Warren Buffett ten years ago. It is now leader of both battery and EV in this world. Partially due to China pro-EV policies and devotion/vision of its owner, it is steadily gaining in China market while set eye on overseas expansion. Its new model, Seagull, resembling to Honda Fit, is the star of auto show circle, has a range of 405 km with 39 kwh Lithium-ion battery, and will be powered by Sodium-ion this fall. If BYD plays its card well with Chinese government and US, it has potential to be another Honda or Kia in 10 years. As for using western know how, I don’t know how BDY benefits from that, but I read way back it got the quality control techniques directly from Motorola when it was the battery supplier of Motorola Razor cell phone 20 years ago. I believe West, US and Japan have wrong foot on their technology superiority, specifically to US with reduced manufacturing activities, it is very hard to lead on production like vehicle, Elon Musk recognized this fact from its Shanghai factory. For sure now US is still lead on high technology sectors like semiconductor and software development with large infusion of global talent.
Rogues are all over the place on the East Coast at least. Been from FL to VT within the last couple of months and they seem very popular. Also seem to be in Denver-Applewood CO where we visit 3x a year.
Yeah here in CT Rogue’s are everywhere, it is very much replacing the Altima as the default car for a lot of young couples /families getting their first new car. Lots of them in the school pickup lines. They are reasonably priced and Nissan is a bit more generous in financing and incentives than alot of other automakers right now.
I know a few people that have had them new I gather buying new and driving for 50-100k miles they are fairly reliable but they still have some CVT issues as the mileage climbs. We bought my son a 2010 Malibu from a local mechanic my wife knows thru work last month, talking with him about affordable cars he listed Nissans and Subraru as cars that are fine new but he steers clear of when they get older as the repair costs get crazy and he has been burned by a number of them buying them at auction to sell.
Rogues are all over the place in SoCal, too.
That’s the Southeast Asian Yaris you’ve shown. The JDM Yaris and Yaris Cross (the sales combine both) are broadly the same as the European ones. Likewise, the Corolla figure includes the sedan, Sport, Touring, Axio, Fielder and Cross.
The Toyota Roomy – you’ve gotta a love a vehicle that has an endorsement built into its name. Fascinating data, here.
And that is what the bB “black box” (original Scion xB) evolved into.
My impression had been that kei-class vehicles had dominated the Japanese sales charts for quite a while, since they’re so much cheaper to run, and given the size limits, it makes sense that most of them are vans, since that gets the most utility out of the dimensions.
Does the current JDM Yaris include a hybrid model? A while back, the Aqua (Prius C) had been at or near the top of the JDM sales charts, but it seems to have fallen off a cliff.
Yes, but it’s not a distinct “model”, but rather one of the powertrain choices across the entire trim level lineup (Z, G, or X); it is also available with either front or all-wheel drive. They make up a huge proportion (majority?) of sales.
Popular in Europe as well…
The new Euro Yaris looks much more appealing than the old US version did. I never warmed to the center mounted instrument panel or it’s plasticky interior. I guess Toyota felt the new Yaris just wasn’t worth importing to the CUV/SUV loving US market.
Here’s the taller Yaris Cross. Still (considered as) a way too small car for the US market I guess.
Yes, kei vans have been popular for some time in Japan, so yes, my headline really doesn’t apply to Japan.
I guess it’s a good thing for the U.S. (manufacturers) that we have such a protectionist market, except for the US consumer of course. I’d guess the Chinese will set up shop in Mexico perhaps and then use that to gain tariff-free access to the U.S. EV market. If they even want to, our market is no longer that big and there are other, easier countries to sell into. Less competition means less progress overall.
The Europe numbers are astounding. The Tesla Y is likely double the price of any of the other nine cars on that list (maybe except for the VW T-Roc. And the Y is the only one not VW Golf-sized or smaller on that list. Note that Europe has far better EV infrastructure than the U.S., while the Supercharger advantage exists there too, I don’t believe it’s as bit an advantage seeing as how Teslas are all CCS over there instead of Tesla-plug.
In the US the Tesla Y and 3 are interesting compared to the pickups – seeing how Ford lumps all F-series together while the F150 and F2/3/450 have less in common than the Y and 3, similar logic might put Tesla in second place, as Silverado is also lumping Light and Heavy Duty together and Ram is counting two different RAM generations and Heavy Duty together in one. I know, it’s all in how the numbers are reported by the manufacturers…
Yes, I’ve long noted that the apparent popularity of full-size pickup trucks is exaggerated by combining at least two different vehicles, as well as the relatively small number of choices compared to small and mid-sized sedans or crossovers. Also, while the Ford F-series is perennially at the top of the sales charts, General Motors usually sells more trucks but selling them under two brands (Chevrolet and GMC) dilutes their perceived popularity compared to Ford’s single brand. And our protectionist market (the 25% “chicken tax) is a big part of the reason Detroit’s pickup trucks became so entrenched. The U.S. truck and van market may have looked much different if Volkswagen and the other Europeans weren’t effectively kicked out since the 1960s.
The funny thing is that Chevy and GMC still combine light and heavy duty sales in their respective reports when in fact it’s the light duty Chevy and the light duty GMC that have far more in common than the LD and HD do with the same badge(s). Lots of people (you even see it in some media) assume that “F-series” means just F-150.
There may not have been the rise/dominance of the current US truck market manufacturers but healthier (more diversified and competitive) US manufacturers overall had there not been that factor.
Add in the new electric Silverado and Sierra trucks and there’s three versions of each of those nameplates.
Yeah, the F-Series and Silverado combined volumes are misleading, though in GM’s case if you throw in the Sierra the total is impressive. For the US. The fact that Ford is so weak in Europe, GM is gone there, and yet an American company is successful there (and in China) is to me THE automotive story of the 21st century.
Politics are strictly verboten here so all I am going to say EV sales (in Europe, where I am located. I cannot comment on the US or China) will start stagnating once reality sinks in (electricity does not come from heaven).
Neither does gasoline or diesel. And nobody needs to die for/from it.
(electricity does not come from heaven).
Almost; it comes from the sun and the wind.
Only if you cover a large part of the earth with the devices which make electricity generation from these two sources possible. There is only one power generation method which is near infinite and does not emit CO2 and that is nuclear. In Germany – for purely political reasons – the ruling coalition has decided to kill that option although no alternative exists.
They are up to about 22% coming from Wind and Solar now in Europe, Hydro and Nuclear make up another 32% so that gives you over 50% that are not burning something to make energy.
Only if you cover a large part of the earth
This is what happens when people don’t bother to actually find the facts and shoot from the hips. In actuality, it would take about 191,000 sq.miles (500k sq. km) to generate all the world’s electricity needs from solar panels. That’s about the size of Spain. Hardly a large part of the globe.
Obviously these would be spread out, so it’s really actually quite doable. And that’s just solar; off-shore wind power is much more concentrated.
But I do agree with you that it was dumb of Germany to decommission their nuclear plants so quickly.
The prospects of nuclear fusion has never been brighter; it’s the hottest area of investment these days. It’s just a matter of time…
The ruling coalition’s alternative now is to import nuclear power from neighboring France and Switzerland, while importing coal-fired energy from Poland and also building maritime-placed liquified gas terminals, totaling to a higher carbon footprint now than before the remaining 3 nuke plants were permanently shut down. Simultaneous to this, German taxpayer money has been allocated to funding maintenance on Ukraine’s nuclear plants regarded as “safe”
I am not sure where you took your figures re. solar energy (I need to look it up myself) but it still leaves one with serious problems given that the ideal placement of this “Spain” is found in politically unstable regions and would require constant military policing (by whom?). Wind energy is again problematic due to its environmental effects, particularly when smaller, densly populated countries are concerned (it may interest you to know that in both of the recent Austrian Carinthia and Salzburg State elections plans by the previous ruling coalitions to “plant” windmills everywhere were an issue (not the only issue, but still), and the response by voters was negative. NIMBY will be NIMBY).
I am all for doing something about the situation but complex problems are rarely solved by just one or two wonder solutions. Bjorn Lomborg explains this better than I could ever do.
Not really surprising how clueless we Americans are to rapidly evolving reality. We need an auto centered remake of Dumb and Dumber.
The US legacy manufacturers are selling like the dealer sells: “Future sales” mean the next quarter (formerly next month), with much less interest in periods beyond that.
What I’m waiting for is when the Chinese brands finally start appearing in North America. After the inevitable, initial, “better dead than driving a Chinese car” screaming, if their quality and support is good, they’re going to move in to the US market just like the Japanese and Koreans before them.
While not in my lifetime (say, next 7-20 years), I can easily see the day when the American automobile market will get to the point that GM and Ford will be either very minor players, gone, or (at most) no longer make automobiles whatsoever (just trucks) and the Chrysler side of Stellantis (or whatever conglomerate owns the brands) will have disappeared completely. Or, at best being the classic names put on vehicles that are sold under different brands elsewhere in the world.
And no, I do not see pickups/SUVs taking permanent reign as the American vehicle of choice. The market is too full of potential changes.
US and China are working on decoupling both economic activities, so don’t worry about driving Chinese vehicles. At this time only two versions of Chinese made vehicles are for sell in US, Buick Envion and a long wheel based Volvo sedan.
It’s very clear that China is going BEV which is significant as this is world’s largest car market. Combine this with western europe’s efforts to rid themselves of fossil, and it’s pretty clear that EVs are the future. I hope USA can turn the ship and there is something aside from tesla. Japan inc is very far behind in BEVs and looks like they’ve ceded it to tesla and the korean brands. Will be interesting to see how the next 10 yrs play out
Over the past few years following various auto blogs, I long ago came to the conclusion that the “I’ll never own an EV” loud and strident crowd is the more civil version of the “that’s not a real Harley” biker. People living in the past, who are going to be left by the wayside, yelling and complaining all the way.
The EV is the future, that’s painfully obvious. Yes, the US needs a lot of infrastructure catching up, but it’s going to come.
Oh yeah, I still ride a Harley (and fly colors in an M/C), have two Chevy Bolts, and an E-bike. Seriously looking for my first electric motorcycle.
I’m even more retro-grade, gave up on Harley in 1973 but and still riding a 2 stroke Kawasaki street bike. And also looking at an electric motorcycle, albeit a cargo e-bike, and an electric CUV. Lead, follow, or get out of the way…
It would be interesting to see the demographics of the “never a BEV!” crowd. I strongly suspect it’s not who one might think, i.e., older seniors. I belong to an EV group that holds regular events that advocate for EV adoption and, without fail, it’s largely older people who show the greatest interest in plug-in vehicles.
De-dollarization will present a significant problem.
I think the anti EV crowd is fairly large in the US still. Plus most people I meet still have no desire to purchase an EV. In talks with family and coworkers some times EV’s get mentioned but most want a new Highlander, Tahoe, Big 3 Pickup, Forester, Outback, Odyssey, etc. We have a few plug in Hybrids in the work parking lot but no full EV’s yet. In my neighbor hood most new cars seem to be Rav’4s Pilots, Highlanders, various Hyundai and Kia cars and CUVS Rams or Silverados. There are two Teslas in the Neighborhood an Early model X and a new Model 3. And a Bolt is the only other EV. Now I live in a more working-class neighborhood (thou the new people moving in are more professional class thanks to rising housing costs) but even in the wealthy neighboring towns almost every Tesla household seems to still have a Tahoe, Grand Cherokee or Suburban in the driveway.
I think given this we will see a leveling off of EV demand at some point in the next few years then it will rise again as the holdout slowly move on. I think somewhere around 20-30% adoption will see a slowdown. But that could change depending on regulations etc.
The kei vans are actually quite roomy inside except in width. None of them waste space on a center console.
“Exports to the US are not viable due to the 27.5% import tariff imposed by the Trump administration.”
A tariff that’s unchanged through two years of the Biden administration. At this point It’s likely that US trade policy will include these tariffs through at least 2028.
Which is precisely why I said “Exports to the US are not viable”.
It’s interesting though that the Buick Envision is currently built in China and imported here from there, as will be the Lincoln Nautilus starting later this year, even with that tariff in place. Neither are “cheap” but apparently competitive in their segments, although both are ICE so presumably weren’t money losers from the get-go.
Given that they’re about 20% cheaper to build there, the effective tariff is closer to 7% or so. The reason both of those are imported is because of their low volumes in the US, it’s more cost effective than building them in low volumes here. But they’re both just filling some holes in the lineup. That’s quite different than a Chinese maker deciding to take on the US market.
At this stage of the game, that would be an EV-only undertaking, and then your product also wouldn’t qualify for the tx credits.
As I mentioned before, BYD spent a year (and a lot of money) opening an exploratory branch in the US, as they were very seriously considering making the plunge. Recently they decided to put a halt to that.
It’s not an easy market to break into; Europe is much easier. And then there’s the current economic headwinds; dealer inventory is back to pre-pandemic levels.
And to think that GM kept Buick alive because they were popular in China. Just looking at the Chinese charts reinforces one thing to me, never second guess Warren Buffet.
Ive no idea of what sell best here though I suspect its the Thai Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux they are everywhere but the so are Toyota Aquas which land used,
I bought something you arent likely to ever see, a Citroen C5 2.2 diesel but signifigantly for me I deliberately bought an automatic and I dont mind the leather interior, those are firsts.
Yes, I see a ton of Teslas here in Northern Calif, but on a recent visit to So Cal, I swear I saw to tons. There everywhere here, but even more in So Cal.
Which brings up the China Tesla sales. They’re selling a ton there too? While Musk is lets say a mixed bag, sales are there. What were the most recent new US brands? Deloean and Bricklin to the best of my memory. Tesla’s got their numbers in a week.
Not a Tesla fanboy, don’t have one, haven’t driven one, but I am dumbfounded by their sales success.
Tesla’s rise in SoCal is no mystery: absurdly high gas prices and standard of living, long commutes, and an EV-friendly climate and charging infrastructure, made Tesla (especially the speedy and luxury-oriented Model S) the answer to the perfect storm and a no-brainer.
Notwithstanding their CEO’s personality quirks, some of which result in perfectly valid personal choices to either avoid or embrace the cars (I consider it a negative), perhaps all the negativity one seems to hear about the cars themselves is unfounded or at the very least significantly overblown. Here’s our experience, currently with 28,100 miles on the car after 2.5 years. Note that my wife was more into the initial purchase of the car than I was, she doesn’t bother reading about Mr. Musk or “industry news”, just evaluated the car on its own merits vs a Lexus and similar vehicles she was considering at the time of purchase. The below all seems to jibe with the experiences of friends and neighbors with Teslas as well.
Recalls? Maybe 95% of them are handled “over the air” as part of regular updates and upgrades to the car while one sleeps and pre-authorizes via phone app notification (multiple for us, all part of normal updates/upgrades), 4% involve Tesla sending someone to look at the car in your driveway (once), maybe 1% requires actually visiting a service center (never for us to date) Almost none actually involve a federal “recall notice”. Non-issue.
Poor assembly? Any issues found are corrected at no charge and quickly. I’ve received manufacturer test cars for publication purposes with similar or worse issues. (in our case, two small fit issues of rear bumper noticed after delivery, fixed quickly). Non-issue.
Service waits? For what? There is almost no “maintenance” required, parts are available over the counter, having had Audis and a Porsche and various other common new cars it wasn’t uncommon to have to schedule weeks in advance at a dealer should something actually be needed. (Our car has only been back to Tesla once and not due to maintenance needs. If you can plan ahead to see the dentist, you can plan ahead for whatever you might need a dealer to look into. FWIW we had the windshield replaced due to a rock – Safelite’s wait was 3 weeks, Tesla had us in the next afternoon, same price.) Non-issue.
Self-driving issues? Many elect to not pay for or have this tech, it isn’t required to have or use, none of most peoples other cars have it, just drive the car normally. (We don’t use it beyond adaptive cruise which is more configurable than most makers with seven distance settings.) Non-issue, most who choose to use it are well aware of limitations.
Expensive? No, not anymore, the 3 and Y can cost far less than equivalent “entry-level luxury” vehicles and did when we bought as well. (Currently kind of considering a new one due to lower price) Non-issue.
Battery life? Warrantied for minimum of 8yrs or 100k miles, more in California and Europe, range guaranteed to stay over 70% of new, many cars are well over that mileage without anywhere near that degredation. (Battery has degraded less than 10%, apparently most deg happens in first year or two, then slows vastly down). Non-issue
Charging? Done at home 99% of the time for far less cost and time than gasoline. Supercharger networks handles rest efficiently and conveniently enough for most owners. (Drove to MN from CO, no issues or problems, usually charge at home, not the only car if really concerned). Non-issue.
Screen? Shows all car data, is reconfigurable, updates for increased features and usability and car customization to owner, most time is spent looking out windscreen, not at instrument panel. Large speed display just to right of steering wheel. (Works great). Non-issue for anyone comfortable living in the later 20th century.
Performance? This is the quickest and likely safest car we have ever owned if that’s of any importance to anyone.
Resale? Far better than equivalently priced vehicles from any German or American manufacturer, likely on par with Japanese.
Sales Experience? Lowest pressure sale of any car ever. Test drive the car as long as you want (solo if you want, or with Tesla guy to explain stuff), no extra markups, no finance office, no add-on sales, no meet the sales manager, no BS, just if you want it click here, if not then thanks for coming in and oh, here’s a 1:43rd scale model of one of our cars for the kid I see you have. Or for yourself.
Try one. But be prepared to perhaps learn things you didn’t expect.
I think the Tesla experience can vary widely depending on your local area and if you get a good one or not. I work with someone who worked as a production engineering manager for Tesla for a couple years in NV and CA he notably does not drive one. He said they have somewhat large inconsistencies in build quality. Many are fine but he said they would get batches thru with all kinds of issues that still got sold. In many ways it sounds like they have quality control issues rather than design issues much like the Big 3 20-30 years go. It does seem they are getting better much faster thou (and he left in 2020 to be fair).
Tesla operates much shorter timetables for engineering and improvements than the legacy automakers, this is good and bad. The bad is they have less time to evaluate something before releasing it to the public the good is they can fix problems and make changes quicker than legacy automakers. An engineer I used to work with talked about the evaluation time of revised parts being in the months to years range when he did work for a Ford supplier, where as the Tesla guy told me evaluations were often just weeks. This means approving a replacement for a bad part or a software fix is much quicker but the chances of something being wrong in the first place is higher.
To tell you the Truth there is a balance there and I think alot of other automakers need to trim their process, while I think Tesla is figuring out the right controls to add. In the end I’m impressed with what Tesla has achieved in their short time in existence, but I wouldn’t risk my money on one personally (plus I find the styling of all of them besides the S to be rather awful).
I was merely explaining my experience with our particular Tesla in response to someone being surprised that lots of people buy their cars. Much of my response was brand-specific no matter if your individual car is good or a lemon.
I’ll pick two small bones though 🙂
“I think the Tesla experience can vary widely depending on your local area and if you get a good one or not.”
The same can be said of Chrysler and many, many other automakers to this day. Ours was produced in 2020, so right when your source left and was in the midst of the end of quarter production push (delivered October 5, so built right at end of September). My example is an anecdote of course and does not mean everyone has the same experience, same as some people go through several Chrysler Minivan transmissions, others’ lasts forever.
“I work with someone who worked as a production engineering manager for Tesla for a couple years in NV and CA he notably does not drive one…”
I sometimes go out of my way to avoid products from companies I worked for in the past as well for a variety of reasons 🙂 There are plenty of examples of car manufacturers with the vaunted and oft-touted “decades of experience” and “rigorous controls” producing garbage, let’s not pretend that everyone else is remotely near perfect even in the present day. Chrysler minivan transmissions, Ford 2.7t Bronco engines eating their valvetrains, GM ignition key cylinders, Mazda rust, Honda brakes, Hyundai 2.4liter engines, Euro-car everything according to the internet, etc etc etc. Some people’s cars are perfect, others are not.
But in the end the overall user experience is (for us) FAR on the positive side of the ledger. And more than likely that seems to hold for the vast majority of buyers, at least judging from the (again anecdotal) conversations I’ve had with other owners and users, and not just of Tesla, but of EVs in general.
Yeah I agree all automakers have issues with QC even Toyota has had some fun ones over the years, oil issues on some 4 cylinders in the 2000s, rusting frames on trucks etc. Heck my wifes 2016 Pilot has had all the fuel injectors replaced twice in 75k miles.
I think Tesla has made big improvements and made them much quicker than many other car makers would have. Really given their volume its pretty damn impressive.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out moving forward. Tesla is no longer in danger of disappearing altogether, but they will need to figure out the competition in the space and how to steer a now massive company. Large companies even young ones almost always develop systems that don’t work well with quick changes, and honestly I think were seeing some of that play out with the Cyber truck.
FWIW, Australia: (March ’23)
1 Toyota Hilux 4583
2 Ford Ranger 4508
3 Isuzu UTE D-Max 2789
4 Mitsubishi Outlander 2169
5 Tesla Model Y 1938
6 Mazda CX-5 1917
7 Subaru Forester 1881
8 MG ZS 1844
9 Toyota RAV4 1778
10 Isuzu MU-X 1745
I presently own one of the earlier Ks. Namely this Daihatsu MOVE. The engine compartment is somewhat compromised. Other than that, it’s larger on the inside than out. The seats fold down into beds and the fuel economy from the puny but surprisingly quick 843 cc 3-banger is great. Even with an automatic transmission
Thanks Jim for the detailed recap of your Tesla ownership experience. I look forward to reading about your complete experience after you sell or trade it in. Your comparison between ICE and BEV experience is most enlightening. Have you considered using a numbered scoring system to show just how much the two types differ?
I didn’t realize how popular kei vans were in Japan. I personally find them appealing for their practicality and decent space with a tiny footprint. Nonetheless, these remind me of those 3-wheeled cars that used to be sold in the UK where you could drive them with just a motorcycle license – like the kei vans, they were popular due to a quirk of local laws, but were largely unsellable outside their home country.