The Business Times

Tesla delivers near-record China-made cars in August

Published Thu, Sep 8, 2022 · 04:52 PM

Tesla’S China operations are back in full swing after a factory upgrade and Shanghai’s Covid-19 lockdown slowed production earlier this year.  

Elon Musk’s electric-car maker delivered 76,965 Chinese-made vehicles in August, just below June’s record of 77,938 and a sharp rebound from July’s 28,217, when assembly lines in Shanghai were suspended for upgrades to double the factory’s annual capacity to about 1 million units. Of the August total, 34,502 went to the local market and 42,463 were shipped overseas, China Passenger Car Association (PCA) data released on Thursday (Sep 8) showed. 

Chinese drivers’ passion for new-energy vehicles (NEVs) shows no signs of abating. Total sales of NEVs – which include pure-electric cars and plug-in hybrids – rose 111 per cent to 529,000 units, the PCA said. Warren Buffett-backed BYD remained top with record deliveries of 174,915 cars. The Shenzhen-based carmaker shipped about 1 million cars in the first 8 months of the year, accounting for about two-thirds of its annual target of 1.5 million. 

The PCA last month raised its forecast for total NEV sales this year to 6 million, double last year’s 2.99 million. 

Overall passenger vehicle sales in China increased 28.4 per cent from a year earlier to about 1.9 million units in August, the PCA said. 

Despite the overall increase in NEV sales, not all carmakers were immune from regional disruptions, such as power cuts that hit Sichuan province last month and smaller-scale Covid outbreaks and lockdowns in several parts of the country. 

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Li Auto’s deliveries fell more than 50 per cent last month, due in part to production issues at one of its suppliers in Sichuan province, which suffered widespread power outages. Tesla and SAIC Motor Corp also alerted Shanghai’s government that they may have difficulty maintaining production due to the power cuts, prompting city officials to ask the south-western province if it could prioritise electricity for the carmakers’ suppliers. 

Volkswagen has entered a closed-loop operation in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, which is under lockdown due to a Covid outbreak, while Volvo’s Sichuan plant has suspended production. Bloomberg

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