Tesla shares skid after China sales fell in February

By Hyunjoo Jin

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -Shares in Tesla fell more than 7% on Monday after its sales declined in February in China, where it faced rising competition and a slowdown during the Lunar New Year holidays.

The sales data dimmed the outlook for Tesla’s global deliveries, at a time when the top EV maker is battling a decline in demand, and is weighed down by a lack of entry-level vehicles and the age of its product line-up.

Tesla sold 60,365 China-made vehicles in February, down 19% from a year earlier and the lowest since December 2022, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association.

Tesla shares were down 7.8% on the day at $186.95, a slump of about 25% since the start of the year.

China’s Lunar New Year holidays fell in February, reducing car purchasing activities. Tesla has also introduced a series of price cuts and incentives to fend off rising competition from Chinese rivals such as BYD.

Last week it unveiled new incentives including insurance subsidies to woo consumers in the world’s largest auto market.

In the United States, Tesla this month offered 5,000 free Supercharging miles to all customers who take delivery of a new vehicle by March 31. In February, Tesla temporarily cut prices of some of its Model Y cars in the U.S.

Analyst Troy Teslike last week revised down his estimates for Tesla’s global deliveries for the January to March period to 450,000 and warned of a further cut, saying weaker-than-expected China sales despite a price cut suggested “a demand problem” .

In January, Tesla warned of “notably lower” sales growth this year as it focuses on the production of its cheaper electric vehicle.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Kevin Liffey)

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