Hong Kong (CNN Business)Car sales saw a record decline last month in China, the world’s largest automobile market, as strict Covid-19 lockdowns take a severe economic toll. And no auto maker suffered more than Tesla.
The EV maker sold 1,512 vehicles in mainland China last month, down 98% from March, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. Tesla’s production in the country also slid 81% to 10,757 vehicles in April, compared with 55,462 in March.
Tesla didn’t export any Shanghai-made vehicles in April, compared with 60 exported in March.
The plunge comes as tens of millions of people in at least 31 cities have been under lockdown for weeks, causing massive supply chain disruptions and hitting consumer spending in the world’s second largest economy.
It’s a stark turn for Tesla after a strong start to the year in mainland China. Tesla was the top seller of electric vehicles in the country in March, delivering 65,184 cars from its Shanghai factory. That number was up 15% from February, as consumer demand for EVs remains strong even during the pandemic.
Last year, Tesla’s “Gigafactory” in Shanghai exported 484,130 cars, nearly half of the company’s 936,000 global deliveries.