Tesla’s China Model 3 Sales Tumbled 64% In April

Sales of Tesla’s (TSLA) Model 3 sedan in China plunged 64% in April vs March, according to new figures from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) CNBC reports.

Specifically, Tesla sold 3,635 Model 3 cars in April, a significant decrease from the 10,160 vehicles sold in March. This means that Tesla has now sold 19,705 Model 3 cars in China since the beginning of the year.

However, while sales fell, demand in China for electric vehicles rose. The country experienced a 9.8% increase in electric car sales from March to April, the CPCA found. The industry association also says that auto demand is now recovering following the coronavirus outbreak.

On May 8 Tesla revealed that it secured a 4 billion yuan ($565M) lending line for continued expansion of production at the Gigafactory Shanghai.

The plant is currently out of action, reportedly due to supply disruption, with Tesla stating on May 7: “Tesla Shanghai is adjusting to normal production due to test run[s] and maintenance of production lines that were carried out during the recent holidays.” Notably Tesla did not say when production would recommence, simply adding: “All work is being executed according to plan.”

Merrill Lynch analyst Ming-Hsun Lee recently upgraded TSLA stock from hold to buy. “In March-April, [Chinese] auto demand at premium segment recovered faster than at mass-market,” Lee explained.

However the majority of analysts present a cautious outlook on shares. The Hold consensus is based on 10 recent Hold ratings, 10 Sells and 7 Buys. With shares almost doubling year-to-date, the $627.40 average price target now translates into 23% downside potential from current levels. (See Tesla’s stock analysis on TipRanks)

“While we recently raised our Tesla price target to $680, we believe the shares offer a risk/reward skew commensurate with an Equal-Weight rating relative to our sector at this time” Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas wrote on May 7.

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