Tesla exported just 60 cars produced at its Shanghai factory in March, a record low as strong domestic demand sucked up most of the output, according to China Passenger Car Association data released Monday.
The U.S.-based maker of EVs shipped a total of 65,814 cars from its factory in China’s financial hub last month, with the bulk of those – 65,754 – going to the domestic market.
The total number of EVs produced and delivered locally by Tesla in China in March was the highest since December, despite a six-day plant shutdown caused by production snarls and pandemic-related disruptions.
April figures will be closely watched considering the Covid-19 lockdown in Shanghai has seen Tesla suspend production there since March 28.
Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on its March output.
Overall passenger vehicle sales in China slid 10.9% year-on-year in March to 1.61 million units, the PCA data show. Month-on-month, sales rose 25.3%.
New-energy vehicle deliveries in China jumped 137.6% year-on-year to 445,000 units.
“Despite the global lithium price hike and chip shortage, China’s local OEMs achieved a great performance with their strong capability and government coordination,” Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the trade body, said.
He said China’s share of the global autos market reached a record 36% in the first two months of the year.
Also benefiting from robust local demand was China’s BYD, which delivered 104,338 new-energy vehicles. NEVs include EVs and plug-in hybrids.
China’s legacy carmakers are under growing pressure to crank out ever-larger volumes of electric vehicles as missing their NEV production targets could dent their profitability, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts wrote earlier this month.