Tesla third-quarter registrations in California drop 13%: data

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FILE PHOTO: Tesla's primary vehicle factory in Fremont, California, is shown in May 2020
FILE PHOTO: Tesla's primary vehicle factory in Fremont, California, is shown in May 2020

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc's vehicle registrations in the U.S. state of California dropped 13% in the third quarter compared with last year, according to data from Cross-Sell https://www.cross-sell.com, a research firm that collates title and registration data.

The report released on Monday showed registrations in California, a bellwether for the electric-car maker and its largest U.S. market, recovered from a second-quarter low of roughly 9,800 vehicles to around 16,200 vehicles in the three months ended September. But third-quarter numbers lagged some 13% behind last year's due to a large drop in Model 3 registrations.

California registration for Tesla's Model 3 mass-market sedan, which in the past accounted for more than half of total registrations, fell 60% on a yearly basis to 6,500.

At nearly 7,300, registrations in the state for Tesla's Model Y compact crossover utility vehicle surpassed those for the Model 3.

Earlier this month, Tesla said it delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter, an all-time record, yet shares fell as some analysts doubted if the world's most valuable carmaker could hit its ambitious year-end target of half a million deliveries.

Total third-quarter vehicle registrations in the 23 states where data was collected and which Cross-Sell said account for 65% of the U.S. market, remained roughly equal to last year at around 32,800 vehicles.

Registration figures might not accurately reflect the number of vehicle deliveries during the quarter as registrations in the United States typically take about 30 days from the time of sale.

Tesla, whose shares have surged more than five-fold this year, is expected to report third-quarter results after market close on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru and Tina Bellon in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)