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Tesla EV sales in China rise 5% year-over-year for November

Tesla's (TSLA) EV sales in China are up by 5% year-over-year for the month of November. Yahoo Finance Autos Reporter Pras Subramanian takes a closer look at Chinese delivery figures as Tesla is in the midst of raising prices for its newest Model Y and Model 3 in the Chinese market.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Video transcript

MADISON MILLS: Now turning over to Tesla turning things around in China. The EV maker seeing vehicle sales rise 5% year over year in November. The uptick comes after two straight quarters of declining sales in the country. That's according to data from China's Passenger Car Association via Bloomberg.

So what's motivating the upward trend? With us now is Yahoo Finance Pras Subramanian for more. Pras, what do you got?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey, how's it going? So yeah, that's right, 5% jump there in China sales to 65,000 units there for the month of November compared to a year ago. This as Tesla's actually raising prices slightly through the month of October and November here. So they're, sort of, calibrating where they want to be. Little mini hikes for the cars there.

I want to note something though. Total deliveries from Shanghai, from Giga Shanghai, were 82,000 and that's an 18% drop from a year ago. And that's because that's a lot of the front loading of the exports and so in November and October. So November, most of it is going to be China actually domestic sales.

So that's what-- so that's what that number is this month. That's why it's up, but the overall number is down. And that 5% raise in deliveries is good news for Tesla in China because it is a very competitive market with the BYD's and companies like that. They're eating away at their market share.

BRAD SMITH: This is a company that just came off its Cybertruck event. I mean, region by region, is it clear yet how many people are actually going to take delivery of this vehicle?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: The Cybertruck?

BRAD SMITH: Yeah.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: It's only US for now.

BRAD SMITH: OK,

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: --and then probably--

BRAD SMITH: That narrows it down then.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: And then eventually Canada. I think, eventually Canada. And then we'll see, maybe there will be international response.

I mean, I'm sure-- look at the Google search interest, right? It's insane in terms of like, I saw a graphic about F-150 Lightning, Rivian, and Tesla Cybertruck Google search across the United States and it's almost every state is Cybertruck, a couple Rivian states. So it goes to show you, like, there is interest. Maybe good or bad, but the people are interested nonetheless.

BRAD SMITH: All right.

MADISON MILLS: Very interesting. Do we have time for one more question--

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah.

MADISON MILLS: --quickly for Pras? OK, well, as I ask out loud to our producers,

BRAD SMITH: We have the mics--

MADISON MILLS: I'm just curious--

BRAD SMITH: --we have time.

MADISON MILLS: Thank you. Thank you. I know, Brad, your mom just got a Tesla, is that right?

BRAD SMITH: Oh, no. Oh, no, well--

MADISON MILLS: A family member?

BRAD SMITH: --she still has the, I believe, Model 3.

MADISON MILLS: OK.

BRAD SMITH: And they just recently checked out the Cybertruck. I believe they drove across state lines to go see it.

MADISON MILLS: Oh, wow, OK. So that is an example. And my mom recently told me she wants to get a Tesla now.

So that by the time she's aging, she doesn't have to worry about not understanding how an EV works when she switches. Is that a growing market for the EV space? Is there potential that that could be an untapped demographic, some of the older individuals who might be able to become new customers for Tesla?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, I think so. I mean, look, we're only approaching 10% market share for overall sales this year, right? We're not there yet. We're approaching it.

So there's 90% of people that are car buyers that are interested or potentially could be your market for EVs. And a lot of those buyers are people like your mom. I mean, Brad's mom is an early adopter. She drove across state lines to see the Cybertruck

MADISON MILLS: Yeah, that's cool.

BRAD SMITH: My parents are way cooler than me.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah. So I think there's definitely a mix. My parents are interested in EVs and they don't have one yet. So I think there's a huge, kind of, potential market there. The demand may be slow to come by.

Potentially, as we see prices come down, that could help. But I just read a report today about how the residual values on EVs are really bad and that's hurting interest. So if you're going to-- are you going to want to buy an EV if you know that it's going to be worth half as much in three years?

MADISON MILLS: Good point.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Whereas, a gas car might be worth 3/4. So I think that's, sort of, the problem there is, how do you address that residual value market. And your mom might be like, hey, you know what, maybe I'll stay with my Prius or something like that.

MADISON MILLS: I'll have her email you some questions, Pras. I'm sure you'll love that.

BRAD SMITH: Waiting for the network to grow out right now too. Pras Subramanian, thanks so much. Appreciate it.