Tesla’s sales in China hit a record high in March despite the coronavirus pandemic, and it represented 25% of the country’s electric vehicle sales during the period.
Last week, Tesla announced it delivered over 88,000 cars in Q1 2020 — resulting in its “best first quarter ever” and beating delivery expectations.
With the coronavirus shutting down the economy in many countries, analysts were surprised by the results.
We already knew that Tesla delivered 3,563 and 3,900 cars in January and February in China, but the March numbers are apparently the ones that made the difference.
The China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) announced today that Tesla delivered 10,160 vehicles in China in March, the automaker’s best results in a single month ever.
Tesla managed the result in a month when the overall passenger car sales in China, which is the biggest auto market in the world, were down more than 40%.
In order to keep its deliveries going, the company has ramped its home delivery service, which enables customers to take delivery of their new car while limiting their travels.
Furthermore, Tesla has also started offering “contactless test drives.” It consists of giving customers access to test drive vehicles by scheduling an appointment online or by phone and having the vehicle unlocked through Tesla’s mobile app.
That way, they never have to be in direct contact with Tesla’s salespeople. Tesla even provides in-car video instructions on the center screen.
They produced a commercial about the entire experience to let people know about the new “contactless test drive” service.
CPCA believes that the auto market will start growing back in April as the country starts to recover from the pandemic and lifts more restrictions.
With Gigafactory Shanghai now reportedly capable of producing 3,000 Model 3 vehicles per week, Tesla is doubling down its effort in the Chinese market.
To be fair, if we are to trust China’s coronavirus numbers, it appears that the pandemic was worse in the country in February than in March.
Nonetheless, it is incredible that Tesla achieved its best month in the market in those conditions — like the rest of the market being down more than 40%.
At this point, it’s obvious that the Chinese market is going to be extremely important for Tesla in 2020.
Gigafactory Shanghai is going to help, but my understanding is that even though they are able to operate, unlike Fremont factory, the supply chain is still being affected.
It’s going to be interesting to follow the situation.
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