Tesla's Chinese battery supplier boosts profit as coronavirus eases

Electric-car battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) returned to sales and profit growth after the effects of the coronavirus pandemic eased in China and demand rose for customers including Tesla Inc.

File photo - China's Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is the world's biggest EV battery maker.
File photo - China's Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) is the world's biggest EV battery maker.

  • Third-quarter net profit rose 4.2% to 1.42 billion yuan ($212 million) in the three months through September, the Fujian, China-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Sales increased 0.8% to 12.7 billion yuan.

Key Insights

  • Electric-car makers are ramping up output as the industry shifts to more environmentally friendly vehicles and shoppers return to showrooms. In the first half of the year, CATL’s revenue had decreased about 7% as the pandemic shuttered dealerships and production sites.

(Also read | China's CATL developing new EV battery with no nickel, cobalt)

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  • CATL is benefiting from cost competition, with carmakers racing to reduce the expense of manufacturing electric vehicles. CATL’s cheaper batteries enabled Tesla to cut the price of its China-built Model 3 sedans, people familiar with the matter said. Tesla has sold about 11,000 locally made vehicles a month recently and is competing for the top spot in China’s EV market.
  • CATL has also struck partnerships with manufacturers including Daimler AG and NIO Inc., seeking an edge over rival battery makers such as LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co.

Wholesales of new-energy vehicles, consisting of pure-electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell autos, surged 68% last month to 138,000 units in China, a record for September, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

First Published Date: 28 Oct 2020, 12:32 PM IST
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