Tesla China sales drop in January, but there’s a good reason why

Giga Shanghai Model Y production line

The latest figures from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Tesla sold 15,484 units in January 2021. That figure represents a drop of more than 30% from its record high in December 2020, but there is a reason for the lower numbers.

Last year Giga Shanghai began exporting Model 3 vehicles to Europe, a significant change for the automaker which had always exported vehicles from Fremont.

Shipments of vehicles to Europe typically happen near the beginning of quarters to ensure ample supply for customers.

The impact of those exports was first seen in Tesla China’s sales figures in October, the beginning of Q4, where the automaker registered 12,143 sales. That month it exported over 7,000 Model 3’s to Europe. According to @TroyTeslike, who follows the automaker’s sales closely, he estimated nearly 8,000 units were sent overseas.

Given that February sales figures will not be impacted by exports, and that the Model Y has now officially launched in the country, we should see Tesla reach close to 30,000 sales this month.

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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on Twitter @DriveTeslaca