US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc sold 70,847 China-made vehicles in December, the highest monthly rate since it started manufacturing in Shanghai in 2019, data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed on Tuesday.
Tesla’s December sales, which included 245 for export, were almost three times the amount achieved in the same month last year and 34% higher than November’s sales.
It also brought Tesla’s total China sales for last year to 473,078, according to reported figures. The last monthly record was in October, when the US carmaker sold 56,006 China-made vehicles.
Tesla’s Shanghai factory, which started delivering vehicles at the end of 2019, makes electric Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles for domestic and international markets, including Germany and Japan.
The automaker said during its third-quarter results in October that the Shanghai plant’s potential annual output exceeded 450,000 vehicles.
China’s EV market is dominated by domestic brands including BYD and Wuling – a local marque that is part of General Motors. Tesla is the only foreign brand in the top 10, according to Shanghai-based consultancy Automobility.
The CPCA also said Chinese EV maker Nio delivered 10,489 cars last month, a year-on-year increase of 49.7%, while Xpeng Inc delivered 16,000 vehicles.
Volkswagen AG said it sold more than 13,787 ID series EVs in China in December, the fourth consecutive month in which the ID family has delivered more than 10,000 units in China.
CPCA said passenger car sales in December in China totalled 2.14 million, down 7.7% from a year earlier.
• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard