Reduced Deliveries Prompt A New Wave Of Price Competition In Chinese EV Market, Threatens Tesla

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Daily News, Environmental News

Home » Environmental News » Reduced Deliveries Prompt A New Wave Of Price Competition In Chinese EV Market, Threatens Tesla


In the wake of dwindling electric vehicle (EV) sales, Chinese automotive giants are reverting to a time-tested strategy: price wars. The beginning of this year witnessed a sluggish performance in EV deliveries in China compared to the final quarter of the previous year, impacting brands such as Nio, Li Auto, Xpeng, and BYD. Renowned EV giant BYD, known for its relentless pursuit of price competition in the Chinese EV market, slashed the price of its entry-level model, the Seagull, by 5% on Wednesday. This move follows the debut of BYD’s Yuan Plus crossover, recognized as the Atto 3 in international markets, boasting a starting price of 119,800 yuan ($16,643), marking a substantial 12% reduction compared to its predecessor.

Rival Response, Tesla Joins the Fray

The trend of price adjustments isn’t exclusive to BYD. Xpeng recently announced an extension of a 20,000 yuan ($2779) discount for its popular G6 SUV model, effective until the end of March. Similarly, Geely’s Zeekr 001 sees a price drop of approximately 10%, initiating at 269,000 yuan ($37,371).

Even Tesla, the catalyst behind last year’s intense price competition in China, is rolling out incentives for March. The U.S.-based automaker is offering an insurance subsidy to customers purchasing existing inventory of Model 3 and Model Y cars.

The discount trend extends beyond purely electric vehicles to hybrid models as well. BYD’s latest plug-in hybrid, the Qin Plus DM-I, is priced 20% lower than its predecessor, at 79,800 yuan ($11,086). Moreover, SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture involving General Motors and two Chinese counterparts, priced the Xingguan hybrid car at 99,800 yuan ($13,865) in February, dipping below the crucial 100,000 yuan threshold.

China boasts the world’s largest EV market, characterized by intense competition among numerous brands. In an effort to bolster sales, some manufacturers are resorting to price wars. BYD’s aggressive pricing strategies may have propelled it to surpass Tesla as the leading seller of battery electric vehicles worldwide.

However, these discounts might inadvertently deter consumers from immediate purchases as they anticipate further reductions, as noted by the China Passenger Car Association. Moreover, the Chinese EV market, after years of robust growth and investment, may now be oversaturated, prompting manufacturers to seek growth opportunities overseas. Yet, flooding foreign markets with inexpensive Chinese EVs could trigger retaliatory measures in regions like the U.S. and Europe. Chinese authorities also caution against overcapacity in the domestic EV sector.

price competition in the Chinese EV market

Tesla’s shares experienced a 2.3% decline in Wednesday trading following a reduction in its price target by Morgan Stanley, citing weakened EV demand in key markets like China. Analyst Adam Jonas warned of an oversupplied Chinese EV market and highlighted Tesla’s ageing product lineup, most of which was launched before the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of this week, Tesla shares have plummeted by 12.7%. The China Passenger Car Association’s revelation of a 19% year-on-year decline in Tesla’s China sales for February exacerbated the decline. With 60,365 China-made vehicles sold last month, Tesla recorded its lowest sales figure in China since December 2022, culminating in a share drop that led CEO Elon Musk to lose his status as the world’s richest person, as estimated by Bloomberg.

Overall, China’s EV’s sluggish performance and price competition in the Chinese EV market have prompted a wave of price wars, posing challenges for both established players like Tesla and domestic manufacturers. As the industry navigates through these dynamics, the path to sustainable growth remains uncertain amidst evolving consumer preferences and market conditions.

Also Read: The Carbon Footprint Of Electric Cars


  • Sarah Tancredi

    Sarah Tancredi is an experienced journalist and news reporter specializing in environmental and climate crisis issues. With a deep passion for the planet and a commitment to raising awareness about pressing environmental challenges, Sarah has dedicated her career to informing the public and promoting sustainable solutions. She strives to inspire individuals, communities, and policymakers to take action to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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