Tesla widened its luxury segment lead in Q1

This article was originally published here: https://www.autonews.com/sales/tesla-widened-its-luxury-lead-q1.

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In the first quarter, electric car maker Tesla Inc. stretched its lead in U.S. luxury new-vehicle registrations, outrunning last year’s segment leader, BMW, by 33,400 vehicles.

Tesla’s registrations surged 59 percent from a year earlier to 113,882 vehicles, Experian reported in its most recent tally. BMW registrations dipped 3.4 percent to 80,482.

For the first three months, Lexus registrations dropped 17 percent to 66,907, and Mercedes-Benz suffered a 21 percent drop to 60,632.

Among the top 15 luxury brands in Experian’s ranking, Infiniti saw the largest slide, with registrations tumbling 43 percent to 11,740. Rival Genesis reported 12,549 registrations, up 52 percent from the prior year.

The registration data includes models of all powertrains from the luxury automakers.

Tesla has been able to navigate the global supply chain crisis somewhat better than its rivals so far this year.

The automaker has exhibited the ability to rewrite vehicle software to work with alternative chips, enabling the company to sidestep chip and component shortages that have bedeviled most of the industry for the past year. Tesla has also benefited by producing some of its own components in-house, including seats and circuit boards.

Chip and supply chain problems around the world dented sales for many automakers in the first quarter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called the company “absurdly vertically integrated compared to other auto companies.”

Whether those manufacturing advantages will continue to lift the brand remains to be seen. Tesla is ramping up production capacity around the world. The automaker opened new factories in Berlin and Austin, Texas, and is expanding plants in China and California.

Registration data is different from sales data since a vehicle can be sold in one month and registered in another. And when exact registration numbers are unavailable, data providers make their best estimate.

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