Tesla bucked the trend amid a downturn in the world’s largest electric car market, with new car registrations in China up 13-fold last month. As the Model 3 manufacturer’s Shanghai plant prepares to begin delivering cars, it is providing more kinetic energy. The number of Tesla cars registered in November hit a five-month high of 5,597, compared with 393 a year earlier, according to the China Automotive Industry Information Network, which collects and publishes data from the auto industry.
Those numbers are likely to fuel optimism that pushed Tesla’s stock to a record high on Thursday. But billionaire Elon Musk’s success in China will depend largely on how quickly he can get Tesla’s new plant in Shanghai up and running so the company can lower prices and stimulate demand for his cars. The Shanghai plant is Tesla’s first outside the United States.
With China accounting for about half of global electric car sales and Tesla’s second-largest market after the U.S., the company has a stake in China’ development.
Although registration data may not be consistent with the company’s sales, they are one of the few metrics that can be used to track Tesla’s performance in China because it does not release monthly sales figures. Tesla’s representatives in China declined to comment on data from china’s automotive industry information network.