Figures released last week by the California New Car Dealers Association showed that Model 3 sold 18,856 vehicles as of March 31. That’s higher than any competitor’s car, surpassing even mass-market cars and crossovers. The closest models were the Honda Civic, which sold 18,001 vehicles over the same period, the Toyota Camry (17,871), the RAV4 (17,261) and the Corolla (15,575).
CNCDA classifies the Model 3 as “nearly luxurious”, which puts it in competition with models such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. In their respective market segments, electric cars have left competitors behind. The 3 Series came in second with 3,437 units, compared with 18,856 models, followed by the Lexus ES (2703), the Mercedes-Benz C Series (2199) and the Audi A4 (1099), and it was clear that Californians liked their Tesla.
However, the data should have an asterisk. The first quarter began with a ban across the United States to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and some parts of California pioneered such policies. As a result, traditional dealers have closed their stores, which could temporarily cause many shoppers to temporarily withdraw from the market. In the end, Honda needed only 855 more Civics to cancel the Model 3 title. But the data prove that Tesla is absolutely resilient, especially in its home state of California.