Skip to main content

Despite Fierce Competition From EVs Priced at $9,700, Tesla Model Y Becomes Best Selling EV for the 1st Half of 2024 in China – Tesla Increases Model 3 Prices in the EU

For the first half of 2024, the Tesla Model Y has become the best-selling EV in China. Tesla achieved this honor by beating out the BYD Seagull, which has a starting price of $9,700. At the same time, Tesla is also increasing Model 3 prices in Europe.

For the past few years, Tesla has been growing vehicle deliveries at a compound rate of 50%. This is largely the reason behind Tesla’s astronomic stock price compared to competing automakers.

At its peak, Tesla was valued higher than the top 10 largest automakers combined. However, for 2024, the conversation around Tesla has changed as the EV maker struggled to generate enough demand to meet production.

This year, Tesla plans vehicle production to remain largely flat or slightly grow over 2023 numbers. Tesla’s uninspiring guidance has promulgated the belief that the EV maker is struggling.

However, new sales numbers out of China show that despite reports suggesting Tesla sales are tanking, the EV maker is still maintaining its leadership position in the East Asian country.

According to data released by the China Passenger Car Association and compiled by the Tsla Chan X account, for the first half of 2024 the Tesla Model Y was the best-selling electric vehicle in China.

Tsla Chan wrote, “NEWS: Model Y has become China's best-selling new energy vehicle in the first half of the year. It was 203,900 in the first half of 2023 and 207,817 this year. Despite fierce competition, it is doing quite well.”

Model Y deliveries in China grew almost 2% from the same time last year despite the fierce competition Tesla faced in the EV space. For a company like Tesla, where strong growth is central to its story, a 2% increase in sales is not that inspiring.

However, something to remember is that the Model Y was able to outsell vehicles with a significantly lower starting price.

For example, the Model Y’s biggest competition, the BYD Seagull, is the second best-selling EV in China. BYD delivered 168,000 Seagulls in the first half of the year despite the starting price of this vehicle being $9,700.

In contrast, the cheapest Model Y variant in China with a single rear-wheel-drive motor starts at 250,000 Yuan, which, based on current exchange rates, is around $34,500.

Related News: Here is Our First Look at a Clad Refreshed Tesla Model Y Testing in California – New Front Fascia & Taillights – Project Juniper is a Reality

This means the Tesla Model Y was able to outsell a vehicle less than one-third of its price to take the best-selling EV mantle in China.

Tesla China’s performance for the first half of this year has been incredible and stands in stark contrast to reports suggesting that Tesla is a busted growth story.

Although demand for Tesla vehicles is growing in China, there are headwinds forcing Tesla to increase prices in some jurisdictions, which will negatively affect the EV maker’s sales globally.

Late last night, Tesla increased the prices for the Model 3 in Europe. The increases affected all variants of the Model 3. The base Model 3, the Model 3 Long Range, and the Model 3 Performance saw their prices increase by 1,500 euros.

The base Model 3 now starts at 42,500 euros, up from 41,000 euros; the Model 3 Long Range now starts at 51,500 euros, up from 50,000 euros, and the Model 3 Performance price increased from 57,000 euros to 58,500 euros.

Many people in the Tesla community celebrated this price increase in the hopes that it was a sign of high demand. However, the price increases are likely due to tariffs imposed by the European Union on Chinese-made EVs.

Unlike the Model Y sold in Europe, which is made at Tesla’s Germany factory, Tesla imports the Model 3 from the company’s Shanghai gigafactory for sale in the EU.

All Model 3s now sold in the EU are subject to a 28% tariff, which means that despite the 1,500 euro price increase, Tesla’s profit margin on Model 3s sold in the EU has substantially decreased.

Currently, the thought behind the new tariffs is that Chinese EV manufacturers receive undue subsidies, which are helping them gain unfair market share in the EU.

Fortunately, the EU imposed provisional tariffs that will only last four months, and there are already talks showing that these tariffs might be removed soon.

Even if the tariffs are ratified by the member states, Tesla might also receive lower individually calculated tariffs once the EU specifically examines the level of support Tesla gets from the Chinese government.

Overall, the EV market in China appears to be strong, and it’s too early to determine how the new tariffs will affect Tesla sales globally. However, we’ll be sure to keep you posted once we learn more about the issue.

Until then, make sure to visit our site,, regularly for the latest updates.

So, what do you think? Are you surprised that the Model Y is China's best-selling EV? Also, do you agree with the EU's tariffs on Chinese-made EVs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below by clicking the red “Add new comment” button.

Image: Courtesy of Tesla, inc.

For more information, check out: Elon Musk Shares This Picture and a Cryptic Message About the Tesla Semi – “Tesla has a Semi, Wink”

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and the evolution of the EV space daily for several years. He covers everything about Tesla, from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.