Tesla January China Sales Slammed by Coronavirus

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Registrations of new Teslas  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report in China plunged last month as the escalating coronavirus outbreak continued to keep buyers away.

Citing state-backed China Automotive Information Net, which gathers industry data based on insurance purchases, Bloomberg reported Thursday that 3,563 Tesla cars were registered in China last month, down from 6,643 in December.

Of the January registrations, 2,605 were for cars built in China, Bloomberg said.

The hefty drop illustrates Tesla’s vulnerability not only to unexpected events that impact buyers’ behavior but also broader trends in China's electric-car market, which has seen waning demand amid slowing economic growth and reduced incentives for electric vehicles.

Tesla started deliveries to customers from its new Shanghai plant - its first outside the U.S. - last month. The locally manufactured models helped Tesla’s registrations in January increase from year-earlier numbers, which were only 853, according to Bloomberg.

Adding to the drop in registrations is a general drop in demand for electric vehicles, which Tesla is also facing amid reduced incentives and increased competition from other China-based electric vehicle makers.

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