China registrations continue to ramp up as Tesla downgraded

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Tesla ,TSLA) Insurance registrations in China continued grow last week, as the top Tesla competitor grew for the third week in a row BYD ,BYDDF) stops. Shares of TSLA continued gain early on Tuesday.


Tesla had 17,032 insurance registrations for the week of March 6 March 12, up 28% from the previous week’s 13,266. The global EV giant had 11,336 Model Y registrations and 5,696 Model 3 registrations last week. Tesla saw its Mode 3 numbers increase by 83% over the previous week. Registrations provide a realistic measure of car sales in China.

Tesla insurance registrations in China have risen steadily since then nearly doubling the number for the week of February 20-26. Last week China insurance registrations of EV companies skyrocketed 144% for February 6-12 compared the month-ago number of 6,963. Registration lagged that week because of the country’s Lunar Year holiday.

Tesla’s top competitors reported declines in insurance registrations last week.

BYD had a total of 37,141 insurance registrations, down 5% from the previous week. The China-based auto giant saw its insurance registrations decline by 1% for the week of February 27 March 5. BYD dealers recently cut prices on several models, joining a massive price war in China launched by Tesla.

Denza, the EV maker 90% by BYD and 10% by Mercedes Benz ,DDAIF), had 1,853 insurance registrations last week, up 2% from the previous week when it fell 7%.

China-EV Startup Lee Auto ,Took) saw registrations grow 32% 4,243, nio ,nio) registration fell 35% 2,170 and XPeng ,XPEV) Registrations increased by 15% to 1,635.

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Tesla stock jumped more than 2% on Tuesday during premarket trade. Shares of TSLA closed up 0.6% at 174.48 on Monday.

Tesla China sales jump in February

Tesla China sales in February rose solidly from a year earlier, according to data released Friday by the China Passenger Car Association.

Tesla sold 74,402 China-made vehicles last month. This is an increase of about 13% over January and a sales growth of 32% over the previous year’s 56,515. Tesla sold 51,412 China-made Model Y vehicles and 22,990 Model 3 vehicles.

The majority (54%) of those vehicles were exported to Europe and elsewhere. Tesla exported 40,479 vehicles in February, up more than 3% from January and up 22% from a year earlier. This means Tesla delivered 33,923 vehicles domestically in China for the entire month. Tesla usually focuses on exports in the first half of each quarter.

Other China EV makers also mostly reported significant sales growth in February versus January.

tsla stock

Tesla sold hard last week, down 12.3%. However, TSLA found support at its 10-week moving average on Friday.

On Monday, Wolfe Research downgraded Tesla from “Outperform” to “Peers Perform” rating. The firm did not include a Tesla stock price target. Analyst Rod Lachey noted that the collapse of SVB Financial added to macro pressures.

Lachey told investors that the current economic climate could particularly affect US EV makers as consumers may cut back on auto purchases until they feel more financially stable.

“We remain confident of Tesla’s impressive cost trajectory, which should fuel impressive growth over time. However, we also become more concerned about macro challenges,” Lachey wrote.

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Wolfe Research’s Tesla stock downgrade is the latest after investment bank Berenberg last week downgraded Tesla to a “Hold” rating from its previous “Buy” designation. At the same time, analyst Adrian Yanoshik raised his TSLA price target to $210 from $200. It is almost 17% higher than Monday’s closing price.

Please follow Kit Norton on Twitter @KitNorton for more coverage.

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