Thousands of owners of Tesla cars in Communist China have staged spontaneous rallies at the showrooms and distribution centers of the electric vehicle producers.
They did this to protest newly introduced price cuts that they have missed with their earlier purchases.
Elon Musk Infuriates Protesters in China
The Tesla owners’ protests occurred over the weekend after, on Friday, the EV maker run by billionaire Elon Musk slashed its prices for the second time in the course of the past three months.
The decision to cut prices came as Tesla’s shares have been tanking, losing 65% of their value throughout 2022, the single biggest-ever annual decrease in the history of stock markets.
Against that backdrop, Musk has been trying to reassure Tesla employees and investors not to be disheartened by the company’s terrible stock market performance.
The slump happened while Musk shifted his attention to managing the social media platform Twitter, after buying it for $44 billion in October.
The new Tesla cars price cut sparked fury among buyers in Communist China as they missed it with earlier purchases.
In just one location, a Tesla delivery center, some 200 recent buyers of Models Y and 3 rallied to protest the development.
They demanded the company award them rebates and credit because of its sudden new price cut, Reuters reported.
Many protesters complained they didn’t imagine Tesla would slash prices again after a cut late last year, plus they had sought to take advantage of an expiring Chinese government subsidy for EV purchases.
Social media videos showed similar protest rallies at Tesla showrooms and delivery centers in several other major Chinese cities, such as Shenzhen and Chengdu.
Tesla owners in China are livestreaming protest at Tesla stores. Each of them are holding garlic chives. In Chinese culture, garlic chives stand for being ripped off by big corporation or institution investors. pic.twitter.com/juNkHcK8q5
— hts (@blue_domain) January 7, 2023
Tesla owners in China protest in showrooms and distribution centres over surprise price cuts they missed pic.twitter.com/nqJ0vHDhFE
— Insider News (@InsiderNewsKe) January 7, 2023
5. One of the organizers of the protest groups in Xi’an turned out to be a BYD employee who’s also a consumer. (See p2 for his disclaimer)
Notice the “one of?” + Xi’an is just 1 city in China.
Idk if BYD is behind this. I just don’t have to hate BYD to love + support Tesla. pic.twitter.com/Q5mbZ2DyuF
— That Cecelia 🐍 (@CCCeceliaaa) January 9, 2023
Tesla Presented Major Demands
The new Tesla price reduction has made its EVs 13-24% cheaper, compared to the price levels in September.
The report quotes analysts as saying Tesla’s move would force other EV producers to cut their own prices. However, it would also probably boost Tesla’s sales, which tanked in December.
That has occurred as demand has declined in Communist China, which is described as the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles. It is noted that Tesla works without car dealerships and has made transparent pricing part of its brand image.
One Tesla owner, Zhang, protesting in a delivery center in Minhang, a Shanghai suburb, said price cuts may be a good business practice, but Elon Musk’s company didn’t act responsibly with its second price slashing.
He and other recent buyers declared they were frustrated with Tesla’s failure to offer an explanation for its move. Zhang revealed there was a meeting between the Tesla staff and the protestors facilitated by the local police.
The rally gave Tesla’s representatives a list of demands, including compensation, other credits, and an apology, and the EV maker promised to reply by Tuesday.
In cities such as Chengdu, however, the protesters were more radical and demanded full refunds for the Tesla cars they had just bought recently.
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 7, 2023
Hundreds of Tesla owners gathered at the automaker’s showrooms and distribution centers in China, demanding rebates and credit after sudden price cuts, which they said meant they had overpaid for electric cars they bought earlier. https://t.co/fIYcg9xani
— CNN International (@cnni) January 9, 2023