Tesla sold 78,000 China-made vehicles in June, up 142% vs May -CPCA estimates

FILE PHOTO: A Tesla sign is seen on the Shanghai Gigafactory of the U.S. electric car maker before a delivery ceremony in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc sold around 78,000 China-made vehicles in June, preliminary estimates published by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) showed on Wednesday.

This was up 142% from May, when Tesla sold 32,165 China-made vehicles, and up 135% from a year ago.

Tesla’s factory in Shanghai, China’s economic hub, was badly affected in the second quarter by a lockdown which forced the site to halt production for 22 days from late March.

The plant, which manufactures Model 3s and Model Ys, reopened on April 19 and resumed exports on May 11, but had struggled to get production back to pre-lockdown levels.

The difficulties in China were viewed as a key factor that led Tesla to report an 18% drop in second-quarter deliveries from the previous quarter, ending a nearly two-year run of record quarterly deliveries.

Last month, Reuters cited an internal production memo as saying that Tesla was aiming to make more than 71,000 vehicles at its Shanghai plant in June.

The plant is undergoing an upgrade to boost its output, which requires it to suspend most production in the first two weeks of July, according to a separate internal memo seen by Reuters. The factory’s goal is to eventually produce 22,000 cars per week, the memo said.

Beyond Tesla, the CPCA estimated that 1.926 million passenger cars were sold across China in June, up 22% year-on-year, helped by recent efforts to stimulate the market by local authorities.

Electric vehicles, in particular, were selling strongly and the association said overall June sales could hit 546,000, up 130% year-on-year, led by BYD Co which CPCA estimated sold 134,000 vehicles during the month.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh, Editing by Bernadette Baum)