Tesla’s investment in China is paying off — its sales more than doubled last year

Tesla head Elon Musk arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany. Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Tesla’s revenue in China more than doubled last year as the American electric-car manufacturer further pushed into the Asian market.

In 2019, Tesla generated approximately $US3 billion in China. By 2020, that revenue had ballooned to $US6.6 billion, according to Tesla’s annual 10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission which was first reported by CNBC.

Tesla established its Shanghai Gigafactory in part to “increase the affordability of our vehicles for customers in local markets by reducing transportation and manufacturing costs” and also to eliminate the need to pay “unfavourable tariffs,” the filing said.

Tesla’s overall revenue also increased last year — total revenue for the company increased from $US24.6 billion in 2019 to $US31.5 billion in 2020 — but the Chinese market saw the largest growth.

Despite the strong sales growth in China, Tesla has seen some hiccups as it ramped up manufacturing at its Shanghai factory.Insider and Reuters reported Tuesday that Tesla representatives met with Chinese regulators to discuss safety issues including batteries catching fire and failed software updates.

Tesla recently achieved its first-ever full profitable year. This profitability was in part due to a significant bump in sales, with Chinese sales accounting for approximately 20% of the increase, although Tesla continues to rely on the sale of its carbon credits to other automakers. Despite delivering another profitable quarter last quarter, the earnings failed to keep pace with Wall Street’s projections, missing targets by 20%, as Insider reported.