Tesla shares decline as coronavirus impacts China car registrations

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Shares of Tesla Inc dropped as much as 14% on Thursday on concerns regarding the impact of the coronavirus on the electric automaker’s vehicle registrations in China.

Details from LMC Automotive showed that 3,563 Tesla vehicles were registered in China in January, increasing from 853 vehicles a year earlier, but down from the 6,613 vehicles registered when compared with December 2019.

Tesla registrations fluctuate largely from month to month, LMC data revealed. The automaker typically delivers many more vehicles in the last month of a quarter than in the first month. In October 2019, Tesla owners registered 763 vehicles, LMC data revealed.

Tesla has not made any comments on this data yet.

The selloff in Tesla shares shows the increasing concern about the health of the Chinese auto market as the government and companies compete with the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak.

China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) had earlier that overall vehicle sales dropped by nearly a fifth in January, hurt by Lunar New Year holidays that started earlier than last year and because of the coronavirus.

The electric automaker stated earlier this month that the outbreak would postpone deliveries of its Model 3 cars in China.

While the virus originated in China’s Wuhan province, it continues to spread throughout the world, local governments started imposing travel curbs and warning residents to prevent public spaces in the last two weeks of January.

The company shares were trading down at $685 and were set for their fourth consecutive session of losses. Tesla’s stock has, however, increased about 60% so far this year.

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