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Tesla Sold 56,515 China-Built Vehicles Last Month

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【Summary】​The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), which tracks auto sales each month in the world’s biggest car market, said on Tuesday that electric automaker Tesla sold 56,515 China-built vehicles during the month of February. The total includes 33,315 vehicles for export. Tesla's rising sales in China comes amid growing competition from new EV startups, including NIO Inc. and XPeng Inc.

FutureCar Staff    Mar 08, 2022 2:55 PM PT
Tesla Sold 56,515 China-Built Vehicles Last Month
A Tesla Model 3 on the assembly line of the company's Shanghai factory in Jan 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), which tracks auto sales each month in the world's biggest car market, said on Tuesday that electric automaker Tesla sold 56,515 vehicles during the month of February, which is in line with its goal of producing 500,000 vehicles per year at its factory in Shanghai.

The total includes 33,315 vehicles for export. The China-built Tesla vehicles were a mix of Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossovers. 

Tesla has been building the Model 3 in China since late 2019 after its Shanghai factory began operation. It was Tesla's first overseas factory, but soon the company will have two overseas plants.

Last week, Tesla was granted a conditional building permit by local authorities in Germany that greenlights the start of production at its new Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory, which could start in the upcoming weeks. 

Building cars in China allows Tesla to avoid steep import tariffs on autos, which give the U.S. company an advantage over its rivals in China's growing "New Energy Vehicle" (NEV) market. The category includes fully electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell models.

Tesla China sales have been streadily increasing since the company clashed with regulators early last year.

After repeated complaints from customers in China, including reports of faulty brakes on the China-made Model 3, Tesla suddenly found itself under fire from Chinese regulators a year ago and was forced to answer to complaints surrounding safety of its vehicles. Tesla was also criticized for how its handled customer complaints in China. 

By July 2021, Tesla local sales fell by 69% to just 8,621 cars, compared to June when Tesla sold 28,138 electric vehicles to customers in China. Tesla still sold 32,968 China-made vehicles in July, but 24,347 of them were exported, mainly to customers in Europe.

In response to the customer complaints, Tesla said last year it would boost engagement with regulators and expand its government relations team. The company's willingness to work with local regulators and to better address customer complaints have helped the company regain consumer confidence in China since the fourth quarter of last year, which resulted in a steady uptick in sales since then.

Tesla sold 56,006 China-made vehicles in September, which at the time, was the highest number of vehicles since the automaker's Shanghai factory began producing cars in late 2019.

By Dec 2021, Tesla beat its own record and sold 70,847 China-made vehicles during the month, which represented a 34% jump from November.

Tesla's rising sales in China come as it faces growing competition from new EV startups, including NIO Inc., XPeng Inc. and Li Auto. XPeng delivered 12,992 electric vehicles in the month of January. It was the company's fifth consecutive month of over 10,000 EV deliveries and represents a 115% increase year-over-year. 

That number fell last month to 6,225 vehicles. But overall, Xpeng's sales have been especially brisk, jumping by 265% year on year. As of Jan. 31, 2022, XPeng's cumulative deliveries surpassed 150,000 as the company continues to gain EV market share in China.

XPeng's domestic rival NIO delivered 6,131 cars in February, a 9.9% increase year on year.  

Overall, the CPCA said passenger car sales in February reached 1.27 million vehicles, a 4.7% jump from a year earlier.


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