Wed, 16 Jun 2021

Following bad publicity, Tesla sales surge in May

Robert Besser
10 Jun 2021, 17:24 GMT+10

SHANGHAI, China: Following a brief slump, Tesla sales in China rebounded in May.

Tesla reported delivering 21,936 electric cars to Chinese auto customers in May, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Sales in May were nearly double Tesla figures of April, though below the 36,000 autos delivered in March.

Tesla had recently received continuing bad publicity in China, filled with stories of how the U.S. company mishandled Chinese customer complaints, along with alleged quality problems.

"If there is a problem with Tesla products, Tesla will absolutely take responsibility," the company said in an April Weibo social-media posting.

While there was much speculation that Tesla's reputation had been harmed, May sales figures may indicate that Chinese customers are remaining loyal.

Tesla began building its Model Y at its Shanghai plant in January, and is preparing for deliveries to local customers.

Meanwhile, future sales might be harmed by the adverse publicity endured by Tesla.

Han Maoyu, an employee of a tech company in Suzhou, said he had earlier ordered a Model Y. However, after the continuing bad publicity, he canceled his order last month.

"I didn't expect so many things to happen while I waited to get the car," Han said, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. "I used to really like Tesla and I trusted the brand, but lately whenever I heard that another Tesla had crashed I panicked, in case the same thing should happen to me."

Of note, Tesla delivered more electric autos in the past quarter than Chinese automakers sold, selling 69,280 vehicles to BYD's 53,380.

Li Auto, NIO and XPeng jointly sold 45,979 electric autos.

Additionally, Tesla exported 11,527 cars last month that were manufactured in China, the association said, down from 14,174 in April.

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