GM Joint Venture's Budget EV Remains Top-Selling NEV In China Ahead Of Tesla Model Y, Model 3

GM Joint Venture's Budget EV Remains Top-Selling NEV In China Ahead Of Tesla Model Y, Model 3

Photo by JustAnotherCarDesigner on Wikimedia

A $4,500 budget electric car built under a joint venture with General Motors Company (GM) continues to top the New Energy Vehicle sales charts in China and is outselling nearest-rival Tesla Inc’s (TSLA) Model Y and Model 3 sales in the country, according to a cnEVPost report.

What Happened: The Hongguang Mini EV built by Wuling — a partnership between China’s state-owned SAIC Motor and GM — sold 29,706 vehicles in May, far more than Tesla’s mid-size electric SUV Model Y’s 12,728 units and its mid-size sedan Model 3’s 9,208 units, which were the second and third best-selling NEVs in China in May, respectively.

The Hongguang Mini EV has sold 128,796 units in the first five months of 2021, the report said — citing China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). In comparison, Model 3 came in second, selling 68,330 units and the Model Y ranked third with 34,557 units.

On a consolidated basis, which also includes Tesla’s other models, the electric vehicle maker sold 33,463 electric cars in May, up 29% from April’s 25,845 units, data showed. 

The basic Hongguang Mini starts at $4,500 and goes up to $6,000 for its most premium variant named Macaron. In comparison, Tesla’s cheapest offering, the Model 3, starts at over $39,000.

Why It Matters: China now accounts for 47% of global new energy passenger car sales, as per cnEVpost. In comparison, China's contribution to world sales of new energy passenger cars was only 8% in 2011 and climbed to 55% in 2018-19. The contribution slid in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

China’s new energy passenger vehicle sales are now estimated to reach 2.4 million units this year, compared with 2 million earlier, helped by strength across segments, as per the report citing CPCA. 

GM has several other partnerships in China and doesn't always individually break down revenue and profit numbers in its financial results. The automaker has however set ambitious targets to switch to electric and autonomous driving under CEO Mary Barra.

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