China car sales plunged the most in two years in April as COVID-19 lockdowns in the auto industry hubs of Shanghai and Jilin province smashed production and kept buyers out of showrooms.
Passenger vehicle sales tumbled 36 percent last month from a year ago to 1.06 million units, the biggest decline since March 2020 as the pandemic kicked in and the lowest monthly total since February of that year, China Passenger Car Association data released Tuesday showed.
Tesla Inc. was among the hardest hit, shipping just 1,512 vehicles from its Shanghai plant, which was closed for three weeks in April before resuming at reduced capacity. Even now, the facility is experiencing some logistics disruptions because of the city’s long-running lockdown, a Tesla spokesperson said earlier Tuesday.
Of the Tesla vehicles shipped from the China factory, none were exported. By way of comparison, Tesla shipped 65,814 EVs from Shanghai in March, and in January and February exported an average of 36,900 EVs to other countries in Asia and parts of Europe.