2017 Tesla Model 3
Head-to-head against direct competitors for the full year, the Model 3 still outsold all comers, selling 138,000 sedans in the U.S. according to Automotive News, compared to 60,409 for the Mercedes C-Class, and 48,484 for the Lexus ES (counting both its V-6 and hybrid versions). Tesla sold about three times as many Model 3s in the U.S. as BMW did 3-Series.
It remains to be seen how reduced tax credits and not-quite-as-reduced prices, or Tesla’s backlog of Model 3 deposits from customers who seem to be awaiting lower-priced cars, will affect the sales race in 2019. One thing is clear: With Tesla expanding Model 3 sales to Europe and China in the first quarter of 2019, we won't get this direct a comparison of the numbers again soon.