Tesla Model Y is already seen as putting pressure on NIO and Xpeng, which mainly sell competing electric SUVs, as Tesla’s latest entry in the Chinese EV market is rapidly ramping up.
Chinese EV buyers had to wait a while for the Model Y as Tesla decided to only launch the vehicle in the market once it was produced locally at its Shanghai Gigafactory.
The wait was worth it since it enabled Tesla to launch the electric vehicle at a lower price than expected.
In January, Tesla launched the Model Y in China at an updated price, which now starts at 339,900 yuan ($52,000) for the Long Range Dual Motor version, and the Model Y Performance version will start at 369,900 yuan ($56,600).
The automaker delivered just over 1,600 Model Y electric SUVs in China in January.
Now we learn that Tesla was quickly able to ramp up production and deliveries of the Model Y in China with 4,630 Model Y deliveries in February.
This is particularly impressive considering Tesla’s operations in February were limited by the Lunar New Year in China.
Tesla is seen catching up to its main Chinese rivals, NIO and Xpeng, which primarily sell electric vehicles in the same segment as the Model Y.
NIO delivered 5,578 units and Xpeng 2,223 units during the same period.
Gao Shen, an auto industry analyst in Shanghai, commented the situation:
“February sales figures proved that Tesla’s Model Y has become a threat to the Chinese rivals, particularly after a heavy price reduction. Tesla looks set to continue its dominance in the premium electric vehicle (EV) segment this year despite high expectations that some of its Chinese rivals will report a sales jump.”
However, NIO and Xpeng’s operations were also affected by the Lunar New Year.
Tesla investors are closely looking at the Chinese market for growth. China contributed 140,000 vehicles to Tesla’s record year of almost 500,000 EV deliveries last year.
This year, many are expecting Tesla to double deliveries as it ramps up Model Y production.