Tesla’s sales in China have been keeping up surprisingly well in February as the coronavirus crisis escalated in the country.
The American automaker owned about a third of the EV market in China last month.
As we reported last month, Tesla’s sales in China dropped significantly in January despite the start of local production.
The drop was also linked to the coronavirus crisis, which has been hitting China’s economy particularly hard, but January was only the start of it.
In February, the crisis really picked up.
Chinese auto sales dropped about 80% last month as the coronavirus kept consumers away from going to showrooms, taking test drives, and also made making big purchases, like a car, an even big decision.
However, Tesla is an exception.
According to Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, Tesla delivered 3,958 cars in China last month — 400 more electric cars than during the previous month.
The China Passenger Car Association also notes that Tesla sales represented about 30% of all new-energy vehicles, which is how China refers to electric vehicles.
Tesla has been making a lot of efforts to keep production going at its Shanghai Gigafactory, which only started production in December of last year.
Now the automaker is also looking at ways to encourage sales during the coronavirus crisis.
The company has ramped its home delivery service, which enables customers to take delivery of their new car while limiting their travels.
Furthermore, Tesla has also started offering “contactless test drives.” It consists of giving customers access to test drive vehicles by scheduling an appointment online or by phone and having the vehicle unlocked through Tesla’s mobile app.
That way, they never have to be in direct contact with Tesla’s salespeople. Tesla even provides in-car video instructions on the center screen.
They produced a commercial about the entire experience to let people know about the new “contactless test drive” service.
Tesla hopes that this strategy will help them maintain sales during the pandemic.
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