Tesla’s China sales have grown to nearly half the size of the company’s U.S. sales

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Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles are seen during a delivery event at its factory in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020.
Aly Song | Reuters

BEIJING — Tesla’s sales in China are now nearly half the size of what the automaker sells in the United States.

Elon Musk’s electric car company reported sales of $3.11 billion in China in the third quarter, or 48.5% of the $6.41 billion U.S. sales during that time, according to a filing Monday.

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That ratio is up from 41.4% a year ago, and less than 10% in 2018, filings show.

China’s share of Tesla’s overall sales rose to 22.6% in the third quarter, up from just under 20% a year ago.

Tesla has opened a gigafactory in Shanghai and delivered its first China-made cars to local customers just before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in January 2020. The company began delivering a second China-made model locally this year.

Despite criticism from state media and social media users, Tesla’s electric cars remain popular in China.

Both the Model 3 and Y rank among the top three sold in China’s new energy vehicle passenger car market, according to the China Passenger Car Association.

Tesla shares hit a record high — and a $1 trillion market cap — in New York trading Monday after rental company Hertz announced it would buy 100,000 Tesla cars by the end of next year.

China is the world’s largest auto market, and a major destination for global brands. German auto giant Volkswagen generates about 41% of its sales volume in China, according to Goldman Sachs.

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