Despite significantly fewer working days, Tesla kept the production of electric cars in its gigafactory in China in February at 23,632, almost the record level of the previous month. That became known this week – along with figures on the Model Y built and available in China since the beginning of the year, whose sales almost tripled in February. Tesla thus left the local electric car competition in the SUV or crossover segment in China far behind, and at the same time came significantly closer to the conventional premium vehicles of the established German manufacturers.
Model Y is way ahead in electric SUVs
According to figures from the CPCA association, Tesla sold a total of 18,318 locally produced electric cars in China in February. These included 4630 Model Ys after 1641 in January, almost three times as many. Tesla had officially started sales and production of its second model from the Gigafactory in China earlier this year.
At the start of sales, the prices for the Tesla Model Y in China surprisingly fell by around 30 percent compared to the previous information. The demand for reports on the first few days was huge. And in February, Tesla was way ahead of the entire electric car competition from the same country with the crossover, as new insurance figures published on Twitter show.
According to this, the Model Y was insured a total of 4645 times in China in February, which roughly corresponds to the number of sales. In second place was the ES6 electric SUV from Nio – but with only half as many new copies as the Tesla. There were roughly the same number with 2111 at the crossover relative Nio EC6, and the fifth-placed ES8 only came to China’s streets 1351 times.
At the start of the Model Y in China, the General Secretary of the CPCA Association had already written that Tesla was turning old rules in this segment upside down by setting the price: Chinese customers are used to high surcharges compared to sedan variants for imported premium SUVs the Model Y costs only about ten percent more than the comparable versions of the Model 3. An analyst later pointed out that the Model 3 had already taken market share from German premium manufacturers everywhere in China where Tesla was represented.
And as also became known via Twitter, Tesla is getting closer to the SUV and crossover models of the German premium brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes (in China also known collectively from BBA) in the important market with the Model Y.
Tesla should plan a second shift
The most popular German model from this segment in February 2021 was the Mercedes GLC, followed by the BMW X3 and Aufi Q5L. With 8476 new insurances, the Mercedes GLC was still sold almost twice as often as the Tesla Model Y, but in January the gap should have been much larger. According to rumors, Tesla also wants to have a second shift of the Model Y produced soon. And even if it sells almost as well as the Model 3 (most recently 13,688 new registrations), which seems possible due to the moderate price premium, the Model Y should soon show the taillights to the SUV competition of the German premium brands.