Tesla sales in China fall 70 percent in October

People visit a Tesla Model S car during the Auto China 2016 in Beijing, China, April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Tesla Inc’s vehicle sales in China fell 70 percent last month from a year earlier, the country’s passenger car association informed Reuters on Tuesday, underscoring how the Sino-U.S. trade war is harming the U.S. electric automaker.

An official from China Passenger Car Association stated data from the industry body revealed Tesla sold just 211 cars in the world’s largest auto market in October.

Tesla did not replied to requests for comment on Tuesday.

Tesla, which imports all the cars it sells in China, stated in October that tariff increases on auto imports were hammering its sales in the country. In July, Beijing raised tariffs on imports of U.S. autos to 40 percent amid a detroitrating trade standoff with the United States.

While the new-energy vehicle sales have continued to rise in China, wider auto sales have slowed sharply since the mid 2018, taking the market to the brink of its first yearly sales contraction in almost three decades.

Tesla, led by billionaire CEO Elon Musk, stated last week it was slashing the cost of its Model X and Model S cars in China in a move in strategy to make the cars “more affordable” and absorb more of the hit from higher tariffs.

The electric automaker recently secured the site for its first foreign factory in Shanghai that will help it prevent the steep tariffs.

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