Tesla demand in China powers ahead with record registrations

Rising demand in China helped Tesla deliver 184,800 cars worldwide in first quarter. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Tesla's growth in China is powering on, with registrations of its electric cars rising to a record last month.

In March, 34,635 China-built Teslas were registered in the country, according to data from state-backed China Automotive Information Net. That's almost double the 18,155 registrations in February, when the week long Lunar New Year holiday slowed sales, and almost triple the number a year earlier, when the nation was the in the grip of coronavrius lockdowns.

Rising demand in China helped Tesla deliver 184,800 cars worldwide in first quarter. The figure trounced the 169,850 average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts and beat the fourth-quarter result by about 4,000 vehicles.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk is pushing into China - already the world's largest automotive market, including for EVs - to gain a foothold amid competition from local electric-vehicle start-ups as well as Volkswagen.

Auto sales are forecast to rise in China this year for the first time since 2017, and in March, Premier Li Keqiang told the National People's Congress the government will help boost the number of EV charging stations and battery-swapping facilities.

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