What Apple did to Nokia, Tesla is now doing to the motor industry | John Naughton

  • August 5, 2023
  • 0

People scoffed at the idea of electric vehicles for the masses. But now a Tesla hatchback has outsold the Toyota Corolla

An intriguing news item dropped into my inbox this week. It said that in the first quarter of this year, an electric vehicle (EV) had become the biggest-selling car in the world, outselling the Toyota Corolla. I know, I know, dear reader: you think this is non-news of the “Small earthquake in Chile, not many dead” variety. But to those of us condemned to follow the tech industry, three things are significant about it: the vanquished car was a Corolla, the EV was a Tesla (the Model Y hatchback), and the runner-up is made by Toyota.

The poor Corolla gets a lot of disdainful looks from petrolheads, who tell rude jokes about it and view the vehicle as bland, unimaginative and boring. Normal people, however, have consistently regarded it as one of the best compact cars available, with good fuel economy, impressive reliability and excellent luggage capacity. And they have backed that judgment with their wallets for many years. So on the sales front, the Corolla was no pushover.

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