Tesla’s China registrations soar to record after Shanghai plant reopens

Bloomberg News

Registrations of Tesla Inc. vehicles rose to a record last month in China after the electric-car maker resumed production at its Shanghai plant that was temporarily idled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Tesla’s 11,280 registrations of locally built vehicles last month represents a fivefold jump from February, according to data from state-backed China Automotive Information Net. The March figure doesn’t include imports because the data wasn’t immediately available. Registrations of imported Teslas were 9,273 in March 2019, and 182 this February.

This Oct. 3, 2018, file photo shows the logo of Tesla Model 3 at the Auto show in Paris.

The figures suggest Tesla has been gaining traction in China since starting deliveries from its new Shanghai facility, its first vehicle-assembly plant outside the U.S., around the start of the year. The numbers also add to evidence that car demand in China, the world’s largest market, is gradually rebounding following a slump exacerbated by the virus pandemic.

Tesla “believes it can now better access this large addressable market” after having opened the Shanghai factory, Mark Delaney, a Goldman Sachs analyst, wrote in an April 14 report initiating coverage of the carmaker with a buy rating and $864 price target.

Tesla shares climbed 3.6% as of 8:30 a.m. Friday in New York, before the start of regular trading. The stock has surged 64% over the course of nine consecutive sessions of gains, the biggest jump in such a span since 2013.

A Tesla representative declined to comment on the monthly China figures. The company reported better-than-expected first-quarter deliveries earlier this month but doesn’t break down how many vehicles it handed over to customers by country or region.

Tesla’s factory in China recovered from a virus-related shutdown quicker than many other plants in the industry, helped by aid from local authorities. After resuming operations on Feb. 10, the Shanghai plant has surpassed its pre-shutdown production capacity, according to the company.