Tesla, the renowned electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, has made a significant mark in the Chinese market. According to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Tesla sold an impressive 77,695 Chinese-made EVs in May. This figure includes both domestic sales and exports, although the specific breakdown has not been disclosed.

The majority of these sales, estimated at around 43,000 vehicles, were made within China, while the remaining approximately 33,000 units were exported. This robust performance contributed to a 2% increase in sales volume compared to the previous month. More notably, when compared to May 2022, Tesla’s sales volume exhibited a remarkable growth rate of 141%.

It is worth mentioning that this exceptional growth rate should be interpreted with caution, as it is partly attributed to the significant reduction in factory production during the same period last year due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Shanghai. Nonetheless, Tesla’s progress in China remains impressive.

Tesla’s manufacturing operations in Shanghai are primarily focused on producing two popular models: the Model 3 and the Model Y. The Model 3, with a starting price of 231,900 yuan (approximately $32,500 USD), and the Model Y, starting at 263,900 yuan (around $37,000 USD), have both garnered substantial attention from Chinese consumers.

While the specific sales breakdown for May has not been disclosed, market predictions suggest that the Model Y accounted for approximately 65% of Tesla’s sales, while the Model 3 made up the remaining 35%. This showcases the strong demand for Tesla’s compact SUV model in the Chinese market.

What Factor is Driving Sales in China?

The recent announcement from Tesla drove the sales. In that announcement, Tesla implemented substantial price cuts for its Model 3 and Model Y cars in China. The price reductions range from 6% to 13.5% across all versions of the vehicles, according to calculations by Reuters based on the prices displayed on Tesla’s official website. Notably, the starting price of the Model 3 has been reduced from 265,900 yuan to 229,900 yuan. Tesla’s decision to reduce prices is aimed at mitigating the effects of reduced subsidies and stimulating consumer interest. By making its EVs more affordable, the company hopes to regain momentum and maintain its position in the highly competitive Chinese market. 

How Well Did this Strategy Go?

According to the CPCA’s forecasts, Tesla secured the third position among the top-selling pure electric vehicle brands in China for May, with an estimated 43,000 pure electric vehicles sold. BYD, the leading brand in this segment, surpassed Tesla with approximately 110,000 pure electric cars sold. GAC Aion followed in second place, having sold around 45,000 pure electric vehicles.

While Tesla’s sales growth in China appears to be slowing down, experts anticipate that the launch of the new Model 3 may rejuvenate their performance in the market. As Tesla continues to invest in its manufacturing capabilities and expand its product lineup, the company remains poised to make further strides in the Chinese EV market.


Overall, Tesla’s sales figures for May highlight its strong presence in China, reflecting the growing popularity and acceptance of electric vehicles among Chinese consumers. As the company strives to maintain its position and capture a larger market share, its ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainable transportation will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the EV industry in China and beyond.