Estimates from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) suggest that Tesla China sold a total of 75,842 locally-produced vehicles in April. That’s a whopping 4,916.01% increase from the 1,512 units sold in the same month last year but it is also a 14.66% decrease compared to the 88,869 vehicles that Tesla China sold last month.
While a 4,916.01% increase in sales is noteworthy, one should remember the unique circumstances that Tesla China faced last year. Tesla China saw production disruptions at Giga Shanghai last April due to strict Covid lockdowns. This resulted in Tesla China’s April 2022 sales seeing a steep drop.
It should be noted that the 75,842 vehicles estimated by the CPCA for April 2023 include both domestic sales and exports. A detailed breakdown of Tesla China’s exports and local sales is expected to be released in the coming days.
From January to April, Tesla’s sales of China-made vehicles are estimated to have reached 305,164 units. This represents a 66.13% increase compared to the 183,686 vehicles that Tesla China sold during the same period last year, as per data tracked by China-based EV publication CNEV Post.
Industry watchers have suggested that Tesla’s April sales in China may have been affected by consumer anticipation of potential price cuts. In early April, Tesla reduced the prices of the Model 3 and Model Y in several international markets, fueling speculation that similar cuts could be implemented in China. Such sentiments might have caused potential buyers to postpone their purchases due to the possibility of more price reductions.
Tesla China does appear to be aware of consumers’ potential sentiments. Last month, Grace Tao, Tesla’s Vice President of External Affairs, shared charts on Weibo which indicated that Model 3 and Model Y prices in China were already lower compared to other markets. These posts seemed to hint that no price cuts would be implemented in China anymore.
Tesla also increased the prices of its entire Model 3 and Model Y lineup in China by RMB 2,000 ($290) on May 2. This is a very modest increase, but it seemed designed to curb the apparent “wait-and-see” attitude of potential buyers. Current pricing for the Model 3 in China starts at RMB 231,900 (about $36,000), while the Model Y starts at RMB 263,900 (about $41,000).