Tesla sales hum in California, beating Porsche, Land Rover

Tesla Motors has outsold several luxury carmakers in California in 2013, on the strength of its Model S, seen here in the foreground. The Telsa Roadster is behind it.

James Lipman/Telsa

Tesla Motors has outsold several luxury carmakers in California in 2013, on the strength of its Model S, seen here in the foreground. The Telsa Roadster is behind it.

It's been a good year for Tesla Motors, the luxury electric car maker, particularly in California, where it's selling more cars than Porsche, Jaguar, Lincoln, or Buick. In 2013, the company has sold 4,714 cars in the state, according to the California New Car Dealers Association.

Here's a rundown of the state's vehicle sales rankings:

  • Tesla: 4,714
  • Porsche: 4,586
  • Land Rover: 4,022
  • Volvo: 2,982
  • Lincoln: 2,230

In California, Tesla also sold more vehicles than Buick, Fiat, or Mitsubishi (in descending order). And it's within shouting distance of Cadillac, which has sold 6,805 vehicles in the state this year.

The car industry has seen strong results in California, where sales gains in the past year easily exceed those in America overall.

"New light vehicle registrations (including retail and fleet transactions) in California increased 12.5 percent during the first six months of this year versus a year earlier," the association reports, "higher than the 7.7 percent improvement in the U.S. market."

We first spotted this story over at CNBC, which also puts Tesla's strong showing in context — the Model S isn't about to challenge the Camry or Accord — or the Impala — for market dominance.

"Toyota Motor and Honda Motor are California's biggest seller this year, at 157,035 and 100,416, respectively," the site's Marty Steinberg reports.

The Tesla Model S's sticker price is around $63,000, including a federal tax credit of $7,500. As we reported last June, Tesla claims a combined mileage of 89 mpg for the car, which can reach 60 mph in under six seconds.

Last week, Tesla announced that in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash safety tests, its Model S "set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants," compared to other sedans, minivans, and SUVs.

Part of the credit, the company said, goes to a large front "crumple zone" — in this case, a storage space where most gasoline-powered cars keep an engine.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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