SHANGHAI, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc delivered 55,796 China-made electric vehicles in December, the lowest level in five months, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) on Thursday.
That was a 44% drop from November and 21% fewer than a year earlier as the U.S. automaker reduced output and cut prices to deal with rising inventories amid weakening demand.
It also marks the fewest monthly deliveries since July when most production at Tesla's Shanghai plant was suspended due to an upgrade to its production lines.
For the whole of 2022, the U.S. automaker delivered 50% more vehicles produced in its Shanghai plant compared with 2021, the CPCA data showed.
Globally, the electric vehicle (EV) maker's deliveries rose by 40% last year, missing CEO Elon Musk's 50% annual target.
Tesla suspended production at its Shanghai plant, its most productive manufacturing hub, from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 as part of the output reduction efforts, Reuters reported previously.
Chinese rival BYD still led all brands in China's December EV sales with 234,598 electric cars including plug-in hybrids and pure EVs, more than quadruple Tesla's sales in the same month, the CPCA data showed.
SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co, the joint venture of General Motors in China making small budget EVs, also outsold Tesla by 53%, according to the association.
Reporting by Zhang Yan, Brenda Goh; editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Mark Potter