According to data provided by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) on Tuesday, electric vehicle maker Tesla sold 70,847 vehicles produced within the country in December. Tesla started manufacturing vehicles in Shanghai, China in 2019 and since it started selling, this is its highest record. The record was up 34 percent from November and grew more than thrice what it was in the same period in 2020.
Tesla’s Shanghai factory started making deliveries at the end of 2019 and makes only electric Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles for domestic and international markets, including Germany and Japan. The total number of China-made Tesla cars for the year 2021 ran into a total of 473,078 based on the CPCA data, almost half of 936,000 vehicles that Tesla delivered worldwide. This impressive figure comes amid increasing challenges faced by carmakers.
According to Tu Le, a managing director at Sino Auto Insights, Tesla’s December figures showed that the brand is gaining a foothold in China. He also added that given that the factory based in Shanghai could only make about 42,000 vehicles a month, the sales were very impressive. “They were well over that number in December. And this is despite the chip and battery shortages that other EV makers dealt with”, he said.
Tesla faces competition from already established local brands such as BYD and Wuling and has still managed to thrive. Tesla, according to Shanghai-based consultancy Automobility, is the only foreign brand in the top ten car makers in China.
The CPCA also mentioned that passenger car sales in December in China totalled 2.14 million, down 7.7% from a year earlier.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Tesla delivered 308,600 cars globally surpassing the estimates of analysts. The success in the fourth quarter follows a number of other milestones the company set in the just-concluded 2021. The company also opened a new sales and service centre in the controversial Xinjiang region of China.