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Tesla overcomes China stumbles as sales triple, pass US$1b

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 21:06

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Tesla Inc's revenue from China last year tripled to more than US$1 billion, indicating better traction in the market chief executive officer Elon Musk has predicted could eventually become the company's biggest.

[SOUTHFIELD, Michigan] Tesla Inc's revenue from China last year tripled to more than US$1 billion, indicating better traction in the market chief executive officer Elon Musk has predicted could eventually become the company's biggest.

China accounted for more than 15 per cent of Tesla's more than US$7 billion of total revenue last year, according to a US regulatory filing. Sales from the US more than doubled to US$4.2 billion.

After a splashy start in the world's most populous country in 2014, the electric-car maker faced setbacks including slow deliveries, orders by customers that Mr Musk dubbed "speculators" and concerns about charging that the CEO blamed on his local sales staff. China revenue fell by a third in 2015.

To help address driving range concerns, Tesla said it would introduce converters that allow owners to power their vehicles at state-run charging points. Worldwide, the company added 57 new stores last year and more than 200 supercharger stations. Hotel, shopping centre and other destination charging points more than doubled to 4,140 locations.

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The Palo Alto, California-based company doesn't release vehicle sales or deliveries by country.

Tesla last year acquired SolarCity Inc, which had about 12,243 full-time employees as of the end of 2016, according to the Wednesday filing. Headcount plunged about 20 per cent from the 15,273 workers the solar-panel installer employed a year earlier.

More than 97 per cent of revenue for Palo Alto, California-based Tesla comes from its automotive businesses, with the rest coming from energy generation and storage.

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