New data reveals that Tesla really increased retail sales of electric cars in China last month and also maintained a similar export level to a year ago.

We already reported that the total wholesale vehicle shipments in China (local sales and export) amounted to 66,051 units (up 10.4 percent year-over-year) - according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

* CPCA reports wholesale shipments, not registrations/customer deliveries.

Now, we will take a look at the retail sales and export of the Made-in-China (MIC) Model 3/Model Y, produced at the Giga Shanghai plant.

Sales in China

According to the new data, last month, the company's local sales in China amounted to 26,843 MIC cars, which is nearly 39 percent more than a year ago (in big part thanks to reduced prices).

Of course, the volume is not spectacular, but it's the best result in the first month of a quarter ever (despite January being highly affected by the Chinese New Year holiday period and reports about paused production at the plant). We guess that Tesla had a significant inventory of new cars, which later disappeared.

Tesla MIC retail sales in China are usually the highest in the final month of a quarter (the first half of a quarter is usually focused on export).

If the usual pattern of selling more cars in the later part of the quarter continues, then we might see a really interesting outcome.


According to the report, last month 39,208 Tesla MIC cars were exported - that's 3.2 percent less than a year ago, but such a difference basically means that the company maintains the export level.

Tesla usually exports the highest number of cars in the first month of a quarter, and then a substantial number of cars also in the second month of a quarter.

Because Europe now has its own Tesla Gigafactory to produce the Tesla Model Y, we are wondering whether there is potential to increase exports in 2023 or if will be more or less similar to the volume in 2022.


Tesla produces in Shanghai two MIC models - Model 3 and Model Y (both in various versions). In January, the Tesla Model 3 wholesale (retail sales in China plus export) amounted to 25,148, while the Tesla Model Y amounted to 40,903.

We are still waiting for the data on local sales in China, which is currently available only through December (see the chart below).

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