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May 7, 2024

Tesla’s China-Made Electric Vehicle Sales Drop 18% in April Amidst Rising Competition

In April, Tesla, the US automaker, witnessed a significant decline in sales of its China-manufactured electric vehicles, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). The numbers revealed a drop of 18% compared to the same period last year, marking a notable setback for the electric car giant in the world’s largest auto market.

The CPCA data indicated that Tesla sold 62,167 China-made electric vehicles in April, with deliveries of Model 3 and Model Y vehicles declining by 30.2% from March. These vehicles, manufactured in China, are not only sold domestically but are also exported to various markets, including Europe. However, the CPCA did not provide a breakdown of Tesla exports by destination.

The decline in Tesla’s sales stands in stark contrast to the overall trend in the Chinese electric vehicle market, which saw a 33% year-on-year increase in new-energy vehicle sales in April. Despite this growth, it represented a 2% drop from the previous month, suggesting a slowdown in demand and intensifying competition.

One of Tesla’s primary competitors in China, BYD, experienced a notable surge in sales during the same period. With its Dynasty and Ocean lineups of EVs and plug-in hybrids, BYD sold 312,048 passenger vehicles in April, marking a 48.97% increase year-on-year and a 3.5% rise from March.

Tesla’s struggles in the Chinese market come on the heels of its first-quarter vehicle delivery decline, the first in nearly four years. The company responded by announcing layoffs of over 10% of its global workforce and slashing vehicle prices in major markets, including the United States, China, and Europe.

The fluctuation in Tesla’s China-made EV sales has been evident in recent months. In February, deliveries dropped by 19% year-on-year, followed by a slight increase of 0.2% in March. However, the decline in February, coinciding with a 25% overall slide in EV sales in China, was partly attributed to the shifted timings of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which fell in February instead of January this year.

Despite these challenges, Tesla remains a key player in the global electric vehicle market. Its performance in China, a crucial battleground for EV dominance, will be closely watched as competition intensifies and consumer preferences evolve. With rivals like BYD gaining momentum, Tesla faces the imperative to adapt its strategies to maintain its position in the rapidly evolving landscape of electric mobility.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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