Companies

Tesla bucks China car slump as registrations soar 14-fold in November

Bloomberg Shanghai | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

Tesla bucked a downturn in the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market as new-car registrations soared 14-fold last month in China, giving the Model 3 maker some momentum as it prepares to begin deliveries from its multibillion-dollar Shanghai factory.

Registrations of Tesla cars climbed to a five-month high of 5,597 vehicles in November, compared with 393 a year earlier, according to state-backed China Automotive Information Net, which gathers and reports car-industry data.

Fears that China, the world’s biggest auto market, would raise tariffs on US-made cars in December probably helped bolster sales, according to Bloomberg Intelligence auto analyst Steve Man. But that threat subsided last week after the US and China agreed to the first phase of a broader trade agreement.

The figures could fuel the recent optimism that is helped Tesla’s stock rally to a record high on Thursday. They also stand out because the Chinese electric-car market has been shrinking for five months straight. Still, billionaire Elon Musk’s success in the country will largely hinge on how soon he can get Tesla’s new Shanghai plant, its first outside America, up and running so the company can lower prices and spur demand for its cars.

There is much at stake for Tesla in China as the country accounts for about half of the world’s electric-vehicle sales and represents the company’s biggest market after the US. Last year, sales of Tesla and other American-made vehicles were subject to a 25% punitive tariff that was rolled back at the start of 2019 as China and US moved closer to a trade agreement.

Though registration figures do not necessarily match a company’s sales, they are among the few indicators available to track Tesla’s performance in the country as the company doesn’t report monthly sales. A Tesla representative in China declined to comment on the CAIN data.

Published on December 20, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor