Tesla protest China

Tesla Owners in China Protest Recent Price Drops

People who recently bought Tesla cars are infuriated by the company’s price reductions, and have participated in protests both online and in-store

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Hayley Zhao
11:49 AM HKT, Fri October 28, 2022 1 mins read

On Monday, October 24, Tesla announced price cuts for its Model 3 and Model Y cars in China. The news has triggered protests from many of the brand’s recent customers.

According to the American automotive company’s official website, the Model 3 sedans cost 5% less now. Even so, prices start at 265,900 RMB (approximately 36,000 USD) when taking government subsidies into consideration.

Meanwhile, the Model Y sees a 9% price drop, with the most ‘affordable’ vehicle now costing 288,900 RMB (about 39,600 USD). ‘Model Y Long Range’ experienced the most dramatic price drop of 37,000 RMB (5,100 USD).

Many supporters of the brand who recently made acquisitions at the original prices have been outraged by the news. Some have even taken to WeChat, a Chinese instant messaging super app, to formed support groups and demand price matches, reported Sina Cars.

screengrabs from wechat

Leaked screengrabs from WeChat groups that are rallying against Tesla’s price deductions

Screenshots of comments from the protest groups — ranging from “Fuck Elon Musk,” to “If we get loud enough today, the company will have to respond to us” — have leaked on the Chinese internet.

A group of protestors also showed up at one of Tesla’s stores in Suzhou, a city west of Shanghai, shortly after the announcement. The police appeared on the scene, and no heated confrontation was reported.

police at protest

Police monitoring the protest in front of a Tesla building in Suzhou, China

Tesla later told China News Finance that customers who haven’t picked up their vehicles yet may still enjoy the newly reduced prices. However, there will be no price match policy for those who have already received their cars.

Many on Weibo, China’s top microblogging platform, cannot comprehend the protestors’ rage.

“What if Tesla were to raise prices? Would the existing owners need to pay extra?” asked a netizen ironically.

Some have even called the protestors shameless, and asked why no one gathers at gas stations to object when gas prices drop. Only a few have sympathized with the buyers.

This is not the first time that protests have broken out over Tesla’s pricing. In September, several Tesla customers gathered in front of one of the company’s stores in Chongqing, a city in southwestern China, and held up a banner that read, “Tesla is scamming its customers! Give me back my hard-earned money!”

tesla protestor china

Protestors holding up a banner in front of a Tesla store in Chongqing, China

The protest began when Tesla announced extra insurance subsidies. New buyers could save up to 12,000 RMB (about 1,650 USD) when combined with government subsidies for electricity. Videos and photos from the scene depict some of the protestors throwing fits and lying on the ground.

Even then, some Chinese netizens stood up for the protestors, and pointed out that Tesla’s salespeople had rushed buyers into picking up their cars before the subsidies were announced, therefore tricking them into paying more.

protestors in china

A Tesla customer lying on the ground in protest of a sudden price reduction

Tesla’s price reductions signal slowing demand in Chinese market. Many believe that with fierce competition coming from domestic brands like BYD and Nio, Telsa is in for a bumpy ride in China.

All images via Weibo

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