Tesla’s struggle in China

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Tesla's performance in China—its most important market—continues to flag, raising more questions about its performance this quarter and for the rest of 2024.

Data from the China Passenger Car Association on Tuesday showed Tesla's sales in the first five months of this year fell more than 7% from a year ago to 355,616 vehicles, down from 382,859 in the same period last year.

Sales in the March quarter were down 4% from the first quarter of 2023.

This is despite a small recovery in sales last month, though it was weaker than May 2023.

Tesla China sold 72,573 vehicles in May, including those sold in China and those exported to overseas markets, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

That's up 16.7% from 62,167 in April, but down 6.5% from 77,695 units in May last year.

Tesla has a factory in Shanghai that currently has an annual production capacity of more than 950,000 vehicles, its largest in the world.

As reported earlier this week, BYD has had a big first five months of 2024 with strong sales overall and significant sales of plug-in hybrids and BEVs.

BYD has now moved so far ahead of Tesla that it sold more versions of its Song vehicle (82,174 units) in May than Tesla did with its two models in China—the 3 and Model Y.

BYD sold 146,394 BEVs in May and a total of 589,974 BEVs in the January-May period.

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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