Tesla sinks as report casts further shadow on China sales

Tesla's monthly net orders in China dropped to about 9,800 in May from more than 18,000 in April.
Tesla's monthly net orders in China dropped to about 9,800 in May from more than 18,000 in April.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Tesla shares tumbled on a report that the electric-car maker's Chinese orders dropped by almost half in May.

The stock, which was already down more than 30 per cent from the late January peak through Wednesday, fell 5.3 per cent on Thursday (June 3). The shares also slipped after a US regulator disclosed recalls of more than 5,500 Model 3 and Y vehicles as well as almost 2,200 Model Ys over separate seat-belt flaws.

Tesla's monthly net orders in China dropped to about 9,800 in May from more than 18,000 in April, according to The Information, a San Francisco-based tech news company, which cited a person with knowledge of the data. That is just the latest in a string of reports that seem to suggest a sales slowdown in a country widely regarded as one of the most important markets for the industry.

Mr Dan Levy, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group, said on Wednesday that Tesla's market share in global electric-vehicle sales had dropped in April - adding that the company lost ground in China, Europe and the US.

Tesla has now had recalls emerge on back-to-back days. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration posted a notice on Wednesday saying the carmaker will inspect, tighten or replace brake calipers that could be loose on almost 6,000 Model 3 and Y vehicles.