By Michael Elkins
Brokerage data surrounding Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) shows that the EV company is poised to report one of its best quarters in China.
According to data from China Merchants Bank International, the U.S. EV maker's retail sales in China totaled 106,915 units from Jan. 1 to March 19, or 1,371 units per day on average. That was slightly higher than the 1,327 units it sold daily on average in the fourth quarter in China, when Tesla sold a total of 122,038 cars, its best quarter so far.
Tesla became the first electric vehicle maker in the country to cut prices in a bid to defend its market share. Bolstered by higher profits per car than other electric vehicle makers, Tesla slashed prices of its best-selling models by up to 13.5% in China in January, triggering a price war with BYD (SZ: 002594 ) and several rivals following suit over the next two months.
However, Tesla's growth pace has yet to catch up with Chinese rival BYD, which outsold Tesla by more than five times in the January-February period.
Tesla's sales in the first two months accounted for 7.9% in China's fragmented sector of new energy cars including pure electric and plug-in hybrids, slightly up from 6.8% in the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, BYD extended its lead with a 41% market share, up from just 29% a year ago.
Shares of TSLA are up 2.20% in premarket trading on Tuesday.
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