Tesla’s retail sales in China surged after price cut -brokerage data

SHANGHAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Tesla’s (TSLA.O) retail sales surged in China in January after it slashed prices for its top-selling models earlier in the month, data compiled by China Merchants Bank International (CMBI) showed.

Average daily sales for Tesla in China during the Jan. 9 to Jan. 15 period jumped 76% from the same period in 2022. Total sales were 12,654 vehicles over that period, CMBI’s data showed.

That compared to a 14.5% year-on-year decline in overall retail auto sales in China in the same week, although sales of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country increased 36.5%, the data showed.

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on CMBI’s data on its sales.

Tesla cut prices for the Model 3 and Model Y cars by between 6% to 13.5% in China from Jan. 6 in the face of what analysts said were signs of faltering demand and intensifying competition in the world’s largest auto market.

After cutting prices in China and other Asian markets, Tesla followed with price cuts in the United States and Europe.

Huawei Technologies-backed electric vehicle (EV) brand Aito and Xpeng Inc (9868.HK) have followed Tesla in reducing prices for their EVs in China.

Xpeng’s sales fell 36% from a year earlier in the week of Jan. 9 to Jan. 15, CMBI data showed. Sales for Tesla’s larger EV rival in China, BYD (002594.SZ), more than doubled in the week to 40,435 vehicles, including both its EVs and hybrids, the data showed.

(This story has been corrected to clarify that 12,654 refers to the total sales during Jan. 9-15 rather than average daily sales in 2nd paragraph)

Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Susan Fenton