Tesla’s China shipments rise to record 100,000 in November

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Electric car deliveries from Tesla Inc.’s factory in Shanghai rose to a record in November after the US automaker deployed aggressive marketing tactics and promotions in China’s increasingly competitive market.

Tesla shipped 100,291 cars in Asia’s biggest economy last month, versus 71,704 in October and almost double the 52,859 vehicles the EV pioneer delivered in the same month of 2021, Cui Dongshu, secretary general of China’s Passenger Car Association, said on Monday. Exact figures for domestic shipments and cars for export weren’t specified.

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Annual deliveries from Tesla’s Shanghai plant could possibly hit 750,000 units in 2022, Cui said.

Tesla is facing intensifying competition in the world’s largest EV market, where recent outbreaks and lockdowns have prevented potential customers in major cities like Guangzhou and Chengdu from entering showrooms.

But the Texas-headquartered group, which has long proudly eschewed traditional advertising avenues, has turned on the charm, offering extended insurance subsidies, reinstating a user-referral program and even advertising on TV.

There have also been price cuts, leading some analysts to speculate about waning demand after the Shanghai factory was upgraded to increase output.

People familiar with the matter said earlier Monday that Tesla plans to lower production in Shanghai as soon as this week.

Tesla has also conducted two recalls in China in the past month, requiring both over-the-air software fixes and some vehicles to be returned for maintenance.

A recent fatal crash in the southern part of the country involving a Model Y that killed two people has meanwhile again sparked discussion over Tesla’s product safety.

Chinese rival BYD Co., which makes both pure EVs and hybrid cars, shipped 230,427 vehicles in November, including about 114,000 battery-electric models. Its overall new-energy vehicle sales are expected to exceede 5.7 million in the first 11 months of the year, Cui said.

State media outlet Xinhua reported Tesla’s November figures earlier on Monday.

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