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  • Kyle Chua

Tesla Owners in China Protest Against Sudden Price Cuts

Tesla owners across major cities in China staged demonstrations over the weekend, protesting against the sudden price cuts they missed out on.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk at a company event in China. Credit: Xinhua via The Hill

Videos were posted on Chinese social media showing crowds of upset Tesla owners gathering at the automaker's showrooms and delivery centres, demanding rebates and credits. They believe they overpaid for the electric vehicles (EV) that they bought prior to the price cuts on Friday, and now wish to be compensated.


“It may be a normal business practice but this is not how a responsible enterprise should behave,” said one Tesla owner, who simply went by Zhang. He was one of the protesters who picketed the company's delivery centre in Shanghai's Minhang suburb, voicing his displeasure over the abruptness of the price cuts and the lack of explanation for it.


The police later arrived to facilitate a meeting between the assembled owners and Tesla employees. The owners reportedly handed a list of demands, which include an apology from the compensation or other credits.


A Tesla spokesperson in China told Reuters that there's no plan to compensate the new EV owners that missed out on the price cuts.


One video shows Tesla owners chanting "return the money, refund our cars", while another shows the police dispersing a crowd outside the American EV maker's store.

Friday’s price cuts slashed 36,000 yuan (approximately US$5,316) and 29,000 yuan (approximately US$2,482) off of the prices of the Model 3 and Model Y, respectively. The company also cut prices in October, making this the second price cut in just three months.


As to the reason for the cuts, analysts say it’s most likely to boost sales and force the competition to cut prices as well amid weakening demand in China, which is the world’s largest market for EVs. The Asian superpower accounted for about a third of Tesla’s global sales in 2021.

 
  • Hundreds of Tesla owners across major cities in China staged demonstrations over the weekend, protesting against the sudden price cuts they missed out on.

  • Videos were posted on Chinese social media showing crowds of upset Tesla owners gathering at the automaker's showrooms and delivery centres, demanding rebates and credits.

  • Tesla said there's no plan to compensate the owners who missed out on the discount.

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