Tesla’s China Sales Rise as Orders Flow In to Beat Price Rises

Tesla’s China Sales Rise as Orders Flow In to Beat Price Rises

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(Bloomberg) — Tesla Inc.’s Chinese deliveries rose in November as customers were motivated to place orders before the company increased prices on its electric vehicles. 

China deliveries totaled 65,504 EVs, a 5% increase from November 2022, data from the country’s Passenger Car Association showed Friday. 

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Since initiating a price war in China late last year, Tesla has regularly tweaked prices of its vehicles, including two increases since late October. Those moves were flagged beforehand, encouraging people to place orders before prices went up. An added incentive of delivery times as short as two weeks also contributed to last month’s sales bump in China.

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“Automakers and local governments have pushed harder in purchase incentives compared with past years,” PCA Secretary General Cui Dongshu said during a briefing. 

Tesla tends to front load exports in each quarter. After shipping 43,389 EVs overseas from China in October, it shipped only 16,928 in November. 

That brought total deliveries from Tesla’s Shanghai factory, which accounts for more than half of its global output, to 82,432 EVs, representing an 18% drop from a year earlier, the biggest slide in 11 months.

Shenzhen-based BYD Co. sold a record 170,150 fully electric vehicles last month, putting it on track to overtake Tesla in global EV deliveries. 

The price war in China, the world’s biggest EV market, has been a bruising affair, prompting upstarts including Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc. to lay off workers and announce plans to restructure to reduce costs. 

Read More: Tesla Started a China Price War That May Destroy Some Carmakers

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China’s total sales of new-energy vehicles climbed 40% in November from a year earlier — and 8.9% from October — to 841,000 units, the PCA said. Sales of all passenger vehicles totaled 2.08 million, up 26% from November 2022.

China’s passenger vehicle exports to Russia have climbed to about 800,000 units this year from 160,000 in all of 2022, Cui said.

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