Tesla changes S. Korea ads after antitrust probe faulted batteries

Tesla changes ads in S.Korea after antitrust regulator claims exaggerated specifications

Tesla changes its advertisements in South Korea after the recent claim of antitrust regular claiming that the Model 3 specifications on batteries were exaggerated. The description was written that the vehicle could go for “more than” 528 kilometers, instead of “maximum” up to 528 kilometers. According to the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) the advertisement is in violation of the Act on Fair Labeling and Advertising.

Tesla changes S. Korea ads after antitrust probe faulted batteries
Image credits- China Daily

Analysts stated that most vehicles could have some loss in the driving range as the weather changes. A commission official stated, “The KFTC plans to give the automaker the opportunity to respond to our finding and then hold a general meeting to review and determine the extent to which the automaker has violated the law and decide the level of sanctions,”

On its U.S. website, the Model 3 description said: “Go anywhere with “up to” 358 miles of estimated range on a single charge.” That distance equates to about 576km. However, for other EVs like the Hyundai Motor Co’s Ioniq 5 midsize crossover, it is stated as a “maximum” 429km on a single charge.

Usually, automakers should follow the country’s regulations where they are selling. However, KFTC stated that it wouldn’t affect Tesla’s sales in South Korea by changing the advertisement. Stating that Tesla already has a market and reputation in the EV market industry.

South Korean market

Tesla has gained quite a significant position in South Korea’s domestic electric vehicle segment, with the company commanding almost 44% of the country’s EV market in the first half of 2021. As the country’s electric car market was sized at 26,632 during the first half of the year, Tesla topped local auto giants Hyundai Motor and Kia with a market share of 43.67 percent in KAIDA statistics released in July 2021.

The sales of Tesla’s Model 3 amounted to 6,275, while that of the Model Y stood at 5,316, compared to Hyundai Motor’s Ioniq 5 at 5,700. Other EV makers also gained market share last year. Porsche’s Taycan 4S sold 802 to become the third best-selling imported electric vehicle during the January-June period, followed by the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC with 337 and Audi’s e-tron 55 quatro with 114.

According to UPI News Korea, Daelim University automotive professor Kim Pil-soo told, “During the remainder of this year, Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia’s EV6 will hit the market in a full-fledged manner. Then, they expect to take the top position ahead of Tesla,”

Regardless of the competition, the supply of electric vehicles seems to be required. Amidst the supply chain challenges, the constraints of manufacturing a large number of units continue.