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Tesla Model Y leaves its rivals in the dust in China’s premium EV segment

Tesla’s total sales in China may be eclipsed by BYD’s raw New Energy Vehicle (NEV) numbers, but the Model Y crossover is still maintaining its place as a formidable force in the country’s premium electric car segment. This is especially true for China’s premium NEV market, which was dominated by the Model Y in May. 

As per recent data from China, the Model Y was the best-selling electric car in the country that’s priced in the RMB 200,000 ($28,000) to RMB 300,000 ($42,000) range last month. In May, the Model Y saw sales of 31,054 units, over double the number sold by its closest rival, the BYD Tang DM, which sold a total of 11,866 units. The Tesla Model 3, the Model Y’s stablemate, sold a pretty solid 11,454 units. 

Overall, Tesla retail sales in China last month amounted to 42,508 units. As per data posted by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Tesla ranked third in the country’s NEV market with a 7.3% share last month. That’s up 332.65% from the 9,825 vehicles that were sold in May 2022, and 6.39% up from the 39,956 units that were sold in April 2023, as per data tracked by CNEV Post.

For context, BYD sold 220,735 new energy vehicles in May, an increase of 94% from the same month last year. This gave BYD a 38.1% market share in the NEV market, making it the top-selling NEV brand in China. These numbers, however, include vehicles that are not fully battery-electric cars.

The Tesla Model Y’s performance in May shows that the electric vehicle maker is still one of, if not the, leading pure EV maker in China. This was something that was highlighted by CEO Elon Musk during a visit to Gigafactory Shanghai. While addressing the facility’s employees, Musk noted that the cars built in the facility are among the best in the world. The CEO also noted that Tesla China’s efforts and the results that they show “warms” his heart. 

“I would like to very much congratulate you on the amazing work that you’ve done. It’s been incredibly impressive how you’ve been able to overcome so many difficulties and many challenges. It warms my heart, you know. And I tell people throughout the world — the cars we produce here are not just the most efficient in production, but the highest quality,” Musk said. 

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