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Analysis of Tesla’s plight from perspective of China’s imported and exported NEVs in Q1

Shirley From Gasgoo| May 04 , 2018

China auto market news, Tesla China's Q1 imported and exported volume of NEVs

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- China saw robust imported and exported volume performance of NEVs in the first quarter. Strikingly, the volume of exported NEVs was doubled during the past three months, according to Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association. However, Tesla suffered unpleasant imported volume drop of its NEVs in Chinese market while the overall battery electric vehicle posted negative growth.

1. Imported volume of NEV in Q1

During the first three months, the total volume of imported passenger vehicles (PV) reached 6,397 units with a year-on-year increase of 13%. The total value of imported PVs jumped 27% over the previous year to RMB 530 million. The imported volume of hybrid totaled 15,615 units, soaring 140% compared with the same period last year with an average price of RMB 29,000 per vehicle. In March, China imported 2,684 NEVs, slumping 22% from a year earlier.

From January to March, volume of the imported pure electric PVs reached 4,872 units, down 6% compared with the first quarter of 2017. China enjoyed remarkable YoY growth of 197% in imported volume of PHEV to 1,525 units. Tesla had dull retail performance during the first quarter with average monthly imported volume of less than 1,000 units.

2. Exported volume of NEVs in Q1

Thanks to the fast growth of exported ultra-miniature electric vehicles, the exported volume of NEVs reached 19,450 units, skyrocketing 650% from a year earlier. The exported volume of January, February and March reached 7,560 units, 8,414 units and 3,279 units respectively. Specifically, January and February saw remarkably robust growth in exported volume of NEVs and the exported volume of miniature PVs took up more than 95% of the total exported volume in the first two months.

The total value of exported NEVs reached $150 million and the average price of $8,000. Since the average price of passenger vehicles dropped in 2018, the value didn't grow in sync with the volume. 

Pure electric bus was the highlight of the exported NEVs in 2018. Exported volume of pure electric bus was quadrupled compared with the first quarter in 2017 to 129 units. In general, the exported volume of pure electric PV maintained a stable growth. What's more, the pure electric bus also made breakthrough in exported volume.  

3. Analysis of China's imported NEVs 

Most of China's imported hybrids are from Japan. In 2018, the hybrids imported from Japan took up 91% of China's total imported hybrids, flat with the same period of 2017. What's more, the imported PHEVs were primarily from Europe while Germany and Britain took up higher proportion.

Pure electric vehicle is the major trend of American auto electrification. That means Tesla will play an important role in American electrification.

Although Tesla suffered bad sales performance in China and even posted negative year-on-year change, its investment in batteries can also gain great attention in the future.

On May 2, Tesla announced its Q1 financial report, saying that it enjoyed slight revenue growth but suffered expanded loss in the past three months. At the same day, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, noted that the company will establish a super battery factory in China, which will also manufacture automobiles in the future. If Tesla establishes a battery plant in China, the current layout of China's battery industry may be impacted greatly. 

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