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Tesla China Sales Drop, Exports Increase in April

By Lou Whiteman - May 11, 2021 at 1:57PM

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The fall comes as tensions between the U.S. and China are on the rise.

Tesla (TSLA 0.78%) sold 25,845 locally made vehicles in China in April, down 27% from March, a possible reaction to increased scrutiny on the electric vehicle manufacturer from the Chinese government.

The April number, though down from 35,478 vehicles sold in China in March, is well above January's 15,484 vehicles sold and February's 18,318. But the fall does raise concerns about Tesla's ability to grow in the world's most important automotive market.

A Tesla driving outside of a city.

Image source: Tesla.

Tesla has come under fire from Chinese state-run media and government agencies in recent months, beginning with criticism from the Chinese military about data being collected on vehicle cameras and sensors. Last month, a protester who claimed the brakes on her Tesla failed got a lot of nationwide attention in China, prompting calls for greater regulation of the vehicles.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported Tesla has halted plans to buy land in Shanghai to expand its manufacturing facilities there because of rising U.S./China trade tensions.

Tesla was able to make up for the April sales shortfall by exporting locally made vehicles to Europe. Tesla exported 14,174 vehicles in the month, according to data from China's Passenger Car Association.

Lou Whiteman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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