Tesla Sales Skyrocket Up 256%, Overall US Auto Sales Down 18%
The first three months of 2022 didn’t bring much joy to car sellers in the United States — unless they happened to be selling Tesla vehicles, in which case their cash registers are probably still ringing as a result of increased business.
Tesla’s U.S. sales during the 2022 first quarter more than tripled from the same period in 2019, pre-pandemic, rising 256% during the three-year period, CleanTechnica reported. That compares to a drop of 18% for overall U.S. auto sales over the same time frame.
Year-over-year, Tesla’s sales for Q1 2022 climbed 47% vs. the first quarter of 2021. The Elon Musk-led electric vehicle maker was one of only three auto brands to post positive annual sales growth during the quarter. The others were MINI (9% growth) and BMW (3% growth). Meanwhile, 27 auto brands saw their sales decline year-over-year. The biggest dips were reported by Acura (down 65%), Fiat (58%), Buick (58%), Infiniti (41%), Dodge (36%) and Audi (35%).
Compared to the first quarter of 2019, overall U.S. auto sales in the first quarter of 2022 were down by more than 684,000 units. Compared to Q1 2021, sales dipped by more than 581,000. On a percentage basis, first-quarter 2022 sales fell 18% from 2019, 6% from 2020 and 16% from 2021.
Historically high prices of both vehicles and gasoline likely contributed to the decline in sales of gas-powered vehicles.
But an even bigger factor might be a worldwide microchip shortage that has led to a decreased supply of new cars, leaving automakers unable to keep up with demand. As GOBankingRates previously reported, Kelley Blue Book reported that manufacturers produced 2 million fewer cars in 2021 than in 2019, and that slowdown has continued into 2022.
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And as CleanTechnica pointed out, other forces could be at work as well — including a move away from vehicles powered by fossil fuels amid broader worldwide adoption of EVs. This has all been good news for Tesla, whose stock has been trading near record highs in recent weeks.