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Tesla sold a record 70,847 China-made vehicles in Dec

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United States 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.
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United States 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 showed yesterday.

Tesla's December sales, which included 245 for export, were almost three times the amount achieved in the same month last year and 34 percent higher than November's sales.

It also brought Tesla's total sales of China-made cars for last year to at least 473,078, according to calculations of CPCA's data, which prior to April did not publish figures for Tesla's China-made car exports.

This accounts for around half of 936,000 vehicles the US automaker delivered globally last year.

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, like Germany and Japan.

The automaker, which has been able to surmount supply chain woes experienced by rivals to post record quarterly deliveries, said during its third-quarter results in October that the Shanghai plant's potential annual output exceeded 450,000 vehicles.

Deliveries at the Shanghai Gigafactory stood at 484,130 vehicles last year, up 235 percent from 2020.

Last year, over 160,000 of Tesla's made-in-China cars were exported to over 10 countries and regions in Europe and Asia.

The localization rate of spares reached 90 percent with 92 percent of Tesla's battery metal parts in the Shanghai plant capable of being recycled.

Tu Le, Beijing-based managing director at Sino Auto Insights, said the December numbers showed that the Tesla brand in China remained strong and that it was also operationally "impressive" given that the Shanghai factory had the capacity to make around 42,000 vehicles a month on average.

"They were well over that number in December. And this is despite the chip and battery shortages that other EV makers dealt with."

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 Inc delivered 10,489 cars last month, a YoY increase of 49.7 percent, while Xpeng Inc delivered 16,000 vehicles. Germany's Volkswagen AG said it sold more than 13,787 ID series EVs in China in December.

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