On April 19, Li Auto published EVs and premium PVs weekly sales data for the third week of April in China based on insurance registration. Tesla sold about 12,500 Model 3 and Model Y in China, up 80% from the previous week when they sold 6,973 EVs.
Tesla’s China daily average from January 2 to April 9 is 1469 cars. In the week of April 10 – 16, the daily average was 1785, up 21%.
Previously the weekly insurance data were published by China Merchants Bank International (CMBI) and various Chinese bloggers, but this stopped two weeks ago. Since then, Li Auto has started publishing the weekly data and will probably do so as long as they are happy with them.
March near-record deliveries
Tesla delivered 76,663 vehicles in China last month and exported 12,206 China-made EVs from its Shanghai factory. In total, Tesla’s Shanghai factory sold 88,869 China-made cars.
March was near a record-breaking month for the US automaker in China as the only better result happened in June 2022 when Tesla delivered 77,938 EVs in China.
The main driver behind the sales was Model Y SUV, which sold 54,937 units in March in China and won the award for best-selling SUV – not just among EVs, but also ICE.
However, Chinese EV makers are preparing to put lots of pressure on Tesla’s best-selling SUV in 2023. In 2022 the same happened to Model 3 as Chinese companies launched lots of affordable EV mid-size sedans in the 200,000 yuan (29,000 USD) sweet spot range. Well, I shouldn’t say sweet spot anymore, but rather a valley of death as the 200k yuan category became bloody competitive in China.
BYD recently unveiled its BYD Song L – the best-looking BYD SUV to date; Denza N8 SUV is coming, Xpeng G6 debuted, Zeekr X launched, and Li Auto is finally moving from EREVs to pure EVs, and that is just a fragment of what is going on in China.
But Tesla still has an ace in the hole as Model Y is awaiting a midterm facelift, and who knows how deep price cuts Tesla can afford if necessary. We will keep an eye on that.