In some sort of show of strength in the local auto market, Tesla China’s December wholesale numbers were 70,847 vehicles, 197.6% more than last year and 34% more than November 2021. Including a whopping 70,602 electric vehicle cars were sold locally , while 245 were exported abroad.
The numbers were recently released by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) and are pretty impressive. The November 2021 wholesale numbers were already excellent at 52,859 units, so it was definitely not an easy task to increase that number even further in December. Tesla China’s raw production numbers for the past month have not yet been released at the time of writing, but if they were close to the company’s wholesale numbers, the electric vehicle maker would have reached an annual production rate of over 800,000 vehicles before the end of 2021.
While the extremely low export numbers for Tesla China in December may be quite surprising, it should be noted that the company typically focuses on vehicle exports in the first half of each quarter. It is therefore not surprising to see low local sales in the first few months and strong domestic sales in the final quarter of a quarter. That was certainly the case in the fourth quarter of 2021, when Tesla China had just over 13,000 domestic vehicle sales in October and about 31,700 local sales in November.
With Giga Shanghai becoming Tesla’s main vehicle export center, the facility’s electric vehicle production is currently split between the domestic and international markets. This means that Tesla China has not yet really reached its full potential in the local electric vehicle segment. For example, in 2021, Tesla’s domestic sales for the full year hit 319,102 units, which in itself is impressive. If more of Giga Shanghai’s vehicle production had been earmarked for the domestic market, this number could have been higher.
The Shanghai Gigafactory played a huge role in the company’s overall performance in 2021, and it definitely helped Tesla see a notable increase in vehicle production during what was a rather difficult year. Despite the persistent chip and supply chain scarcity, Tesla China has managed to achieve impressive shipments, which shows how hard the company is working to meet its goals. The current year should be another milestone year for Giga Shanghai as demand for the company’s vehicles appears as strong as ever. This could be indicated by the delivery time frame for the Made-in-China Model 3 and Model Y, which has now been extended to 12-16 weeks for domestic customers.
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