Tesla Model 3 sales in China plunge 64% in April

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., speaks during an event at the company’s manufacturing plant in Shanghai, China, Monday, January 7, 2019.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sales of the Tesla Model 3 sedan in China fell more than 64% in April from the previous month, despite a recovery in the electric car market, according to data from an industry body released on Monday.

Tesla sold 3,635 model 3 cars in April, up from 10,160 in March, said the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

The decline comes despite a 9.8% monthly increase in sales of electric cars in China in April. The CPCA said it is also witnessing a rebound in demand after the coronavirus outbreak in the world’s second largest economy, which effectively shut down the country for several weeks.

A Tesla spokesperson was not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC.

In an April 29 call for results, CEO Elon Musk said Tesla is lowering the price of the Model 3 in China.

“We are making rapid progress on the drop in production costs in China, and we are in fact delighted to announce during this call that we will reduce the price of the standard model 3 range essentially tomorrow in China,” he said. he declared at that time, according to a FactSet transcription. “And it will be priced below the subsidy limit, and we are confident that it will always be a vehicle that will offer a good gross margin.”

The foreclosure of China has affected Tesla, among other automakers and factories in the country. The American automaker had to temporarily close its factory and stores in Shanghai earlier this year.

Its Shanghai plant, which began production in October last year, is the company’s first outside of the United States. Tesla didn’t start delivering Model 3 cars to customers in China until January.

In its report, the CPCA did not provide an analysis of the reasons for the decline in Model 3 sales.

For the first four months of the year, Tesla sold a total of 19,705 model 3 cars, the CPCA said.

– Lora Kolodny of CNBC contributed to this report.

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