Tesla Sets Sales Record In China Despite Coronavirus Crisis

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Tesla has just had its best month in China, selling a record high number of electric vehicles in March despite a 41-percent plunge in overall car sales in the world’s biggest car market.

According to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Tesla sold 10,160 vehicles in China last month, despite the fact that total Chinese vehicle sales plummeted by 40.8 percent year on year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tesla’s sales in China in March were up from 3,900 vehicle sales in February, and up from 2,620 vehicles sold in January, according to CPCA data cited by Reuters.

Tesla’s newly operational Shanghai Gigafactory was temporarily closed for a few weeks between the end of January and February due to government-mandated temporary shutdowns of industrial production because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Gigafactory resumed production in the second week of February.

To boost sales in the world’s top car market, Tesla has increased home delivery services to encourage more potential buyers to buy a Tesla, Business Times reports.

At the beginning of 2019, Tesla started the construction of a production facility in the world’s top EV market—China—in order to be able to compete on a level playing field with a growing number of local EV manufacturers. As a U.S.-made vehicle, Tesla’s cars in China have been subject to steep tariffs, and sales have suffered due to the U.S.-China trade war.

In early January this year, Tesla delivered its first cars to customers from its newly built Gigafactory in Shanghai, just a year after it broke ground on the site for the construction.

Last week, Tesla reported its “best ever first quarter performance” as it produced almost 103,000 vehicles and delivered around 88,400 vehicles globally.

Tesla’s Shanghai factory “continued to achieve record levels of production, despite significant setbacks,” the EV maker said in a statement.

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