Tesla owners in China protest against surprise price cuts they missed

Tesla owners gather at showroom to protest against sudden unknown price cuts

Hundreds of Tesla owners in China gathered around Tesla showrooms protesting against sudden price cuts. Such price cuts would mean they overpaid for electric cars which they bought before the reduced price. Around 200 recent buyers of Tesla Model Y and Model 3 are said to have gathered at a Tesla delivery center in Shanghai.

Tesla owners in China protest against surprise price cuts they missed
Image credits- CNA

These protests are against the US carmaker’s decision to slash prices for the second time in three months on Friday. Many said they had believed that prices Tesla charged for its cars late last year would not be cut as abruptly or as deeply as the automaker just announced in a move to spur sales and support production at its Shanghai plant. The scheduled expiration of a government subsidy at the end of 2022 also drove many to finalize their purchases.

Videos posted on social media showed crowds at Tesla stores and delivery centers in other Chinese cities from Chengdu to Shenzhen, suggesting wider consumer backlash. Analysts have said Tesla’s move was likely to boost its sales, which tumbled in December and force other EV makers to cut prices too at a time of faltering demand in the world’s largest market for battery-powered cars.


Many automakers often discount to manage inventory and keep factories running when demand weakens. However, Tesla operates without dealerships and transparent pricing has been part of its brand image. One Tesla owner protesting at the company’s delivery center in Shanghai’s MinHand suburb on Saturday said, “It may be a normal business practice but this is not how a responsible enterprise should behave,” He gave his surname as Zhang and the other Tesla owners, who said they had taken delivery in the final months of 2022, said they were frustrated with the abruptness of Friday’s price cut and Tesla’s lack of an explanation to recent buyers.

Zhang said police facilitated a meeting between Tesla staff and the assembled owners at which the owners handed over a list of demands, including an apology and compensation or other credits. He added the Tesla staff had agreed to respond by Tuesday. About a dozen police officers could be seen at the Shanghai protest and most of the videos of the other demonstrations also showed a large police presence at the Tesla sites. Protests are not a rare occurrence in China, which has over the years seen people come out in large numbers over issues such as financial or property scams, but authorities have been on higher alert after widespread protests in Chinese cities and top universities at the end of November against COVID-19 restrictions.