Model 3 vehicles made by Tesla China are on display during a delivery event at its facility in Shanghai, China on Jan. 7, 2020.
Aly Song | Reuters
BEIJING – Tesla’s sales in China more than doubled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The electric car maker’s sales in China of $ 6.66 billion last year accounted for about a fifth, or 21%, of the $ 31.54 billion.
In 2019, Tesla achieved sales of $ 2.98 billion in China, only 12% of the $ 24.58 billion.
The US remained Tesla’s largest market. Revenue rose 20% to $ 15.21 billion last year and accounted for about half of total revenue.
Tesla started ramping up production at its Shanghai plant last year and selling China-made cars in the local market.
The company’s Model 3 was the best-selling electric car in the country in 2020, according to China’s Passenger Car Association. The automaker also began shipping a new model, a China-made Model Y, to local customers that year.
However, Tesla faces competition in its local market from Chinese electric car startups like Nio and Xpeng, while government scrutiny has increased.
On Monday, the Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation announced on its website that it and four other government departments recently spoke with Tesla’s local subsidiaries about an increase in consumer reports of vehicle problems.
Among several incidents that have garnered attention on Chinese social media in recent weeks, a Model 3 reportedly exploded in a parking garage in Shanghai in January. Last week, Chinese authorities said Tesla had to recall more than 36,000 cars due to a touchscreen failure.