Tesla has been leading the Chinese EV market since starting production at its factory in Shanghai, but now it’s being outsold by a weird little affordable electric car.
It’s hard to overstate the impact that Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai had on the EV market in China.
The California-based automaker saw its sales more than double in the country last year to over 100,000 vehicles.
Tesla’s Model 3 became the best-selling electric vehicle in the country, beating every electric vehicle from domestic automakers.
The only EV that was getting close to Tesla last year was the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV by the SAIC-GM joint-venture.
Now the numbers for January are out, and the Wuling MINI EV has actually taken over for the first time.
Last month, Tesla sold a very healthy 13,000 Model 3 vehicles and 1,600 Model Y vehicles, but over 36,000 Wuling Hongguang MINI EVs were delivered during the same period.
The vehicle’s specs are not impressive with an NEDC-rated range of just 120 km (75 miles) to 170 km (106 miles) on an exceptionally small 13 kWh battery pack.
Some would barely call this a car. The dimensions are only 2,917 mm long, 1,493 mm wide, and 1,621 mm tall.
But all of that is forgiven, thanks to the price of just 28,800 yuan ($4,112) to 38,800 yuan ($5,540), depending on the variants.
It’s making the small electric car a very popular option in China.
The brand is now looking to build a larger retail and service network on the success of the small EV.
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