Tesla Motors Inc. posted the strongest quarterly sales in China this year for the three months ended September, as it prepares to begin sales of its Model X SUV next year.
Tesla sold 1,345 units in China in the third quarter, after selling 797 vehicles in the first and 883 units in the second, for a total of 3,025 units in the first nine months of the year, said Gary Tao, the company’s Beijing-based spokesman. The numbers were first disclosed by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to Chinese media during a trip to Beijing last week.
China’s sales could match the U.S. in five to six years, Musk said in an interview with the official Xinhua News Agency last week. The automaker is targeting to start sales of its Model X sport utility vehicle in the country during the first half of next year, tapping on demand from consumers that have made the higher-riding vehicles the fastest-growing segment.
China accounted for about 11 percent of Tesla’s global deliveries in the third quarter. The company won approval last month from the Beijing municipal government to enter a special license plate lottery system for electric vehicles.
— With assistance by Alexandra Ho