Tesla roars to life in China with record monthly sales amid gov’t’s local auto push

(Credit: Jay In Shanghai/Twitter)

Tesla appears to have rebounded quite nicely from its local facilities’ COVID-19-induced shutdown in China. The China Passenger Car Association, or CPCA, stated Tesla China division sold 10,160 vehicles in March, making it the strongest month the company has had in the country to date.

According to an online briefing released by CPCA Secretary General Cui Dongshu, Tesla sold around one-third of the total battery electric vehicles purchased in China in March, Reuters said. This is very impressive, considering that Tesla’s local vehicle production only began a few months ago.

According to other statistics from the CPCA, Tesla sold 2,620 cars in January and 3,900 more in February. These numbers are significantly lower because the brunt of the virus was affecting China during the first two months of 2020.

Despite a slow start to the year in China, Tesla saw revamped production rates and increased sales numbers following a government-mandated shutdown. Tesla’s Chinese production plant, commonly known as Gigafactory Shanghai because of its location, was closed for an extended period following the Chinese New Year.

The shutdown was initiated due to China’s increased number of COVID-19 cases, a virus that has made its way across the world and affected nearly every business on every industry. Tesla’s US-located plants are now feeling the effects of the virus, as its main Fremont production facility and Giga New York solar plant have temporarily suspended their operations. Both plants are expected to reopen on May 4.

However, China has adopted the electric vehicle mission that Tesla presents just as well as any other country has. While the company was welcomed with open arms by politicians, subsidies that have been put into place by the government will extend the incentives to purchase a sustainable vehicle for another two years. This decision may have something to do with the increased amount of emissions that China deals with in its larger cities, as updates to its emissions standards were also announced at the same time.

Tesla will also reportedly offer a 404-mile capable Long Range variant of its Model 3 in China. This would likely be a popular trim in China, which is already saturated with local offerings that priced very competitively.

China already has the largest car market in the world. As overall passenger car sales in March were down 40.8% compared to the same month a year earlier, Tesla seems to have established itself as an outlier within these statistics. Additionally, car dealerships in other countries, like the U.S., are seeking assistance with keeping their doors open, according to the LA Times.

Meanwhile, Tesla is coming off its strongest Q1 as a company. It’s 88,400 deliveries of all four of its currently available vehicles is the strongest start to the year in company history, even despite significantly smaller amounts of production time compared to a regular quarter due to the C-19 virus shutting down its facilities.

Joey Klender: Transportation Writer | Penn State Alum | Future World Series of Poker Bracelet Holder 🚀 🛰 ☀️ 🚘 🧠 🕳
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