Chinese Consumers Prefer Not to Buy Chinese-Built EVs – In Steps US-Made Tesla


Tesla Model S Priced at  $121,000 USD in China

Tesla Model S Priced at $121,000 USD in China

International Business Times reports the following:

Tesla Website China

Tesla Website China

“For one thing, Chinese consumers are wary of buying Chinese cars in general. If they can afford to buy foreign brands, they do. This is a challenge for local manufacturers like BYD Automobile, the country’s main manufacturer of electric vehicles. Modern electric vehicles are a new mass market technology, which adds to the apprehensions of the typical Chinese car buyer…Consumers must not only overcome this range anxiety but also Chinese-car anxiety.”

That’s where Tesla Motors steps in.

If what International Business Times says is true, then the Model S is the solution.  It’s not built in China by a Chinese automaker, so buyers don’t have to be wary.  It’s got loads of range, so range anxiety becomes a non-issue.

There’s one more advantage for Tesla in China: Beijing’s license plate lottery system.

That lottery system makes it near impossible (less than a 1% chance) to register an ICE vehicle in Bejing, but to promote the adoption of EVs, the city has set aside 20,000 license plates for EV buyers.

So, if you buy a Model S in Beijing, then you’ve skirted around several issues tied to the typical EV in China and you’ve gained the right to actually drive your vehicle on the city’s congested streets.

Source: International Business Times

Categories: Tesla

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20 Comments on "Chinese Consumers Prefer Not to Buy Chinese-Built EVs – In Steps US-Made Tesla"

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BYD must not have a very good domestic reputation…

I am not an expert on China but I grew up in Eastern Europe. As a child I always believed that everything from US or Western Europe was better than what we had in Slovakia (back then Czechoslovakia). So it’s partly a reputation for Chinese companies in general, but also the good reputation of western products over all. I believe it’s also a prestige thing, as a 8-year old boy, if a classmate would have a toy “Made in USA” that would be something really impressive, I believe it’s very similar to how Chinese view American/Western products, that’s why they are paying the premium which unfortunatelly Tesla won’t be charging…

A little off topic, but a good friend of mine from Eastern Europe always told the following, when he was asked about the quality of local products:

You know what is not humming and doesn’t fit in your booty? The East European booty-humming-device!

But I think my leica camera surely prooves that quality did happen there 😉

🙂 Eastern Europe is also a big region, Czechoslovakia before WW2 had a very advanced industry, Skodas were wonderful cars, Tatra was a real luxury car (look up Tatra T87), Jawa motorcycles etc. etc. Then came communism and things went down the drain. Czechoslovakia was more of an exception however, the rest of Eastern Europe was always rather poor and not very advanced before or after WW2.

There are certain biases that develop some of them based in reality. Think of French wines vrs. American. Immediately most people think, nolo contendere, French wines are much better.
Think of Chinese products you would prefer over American made products. Personally I can’t think of one, except maybe carved ivory. Certainly not anything i would put in my body, like dried milk, knock off pharmaceuticals. Yes the Chinese have a well deserved reputation for making crap.

I bought some really great artwork in China. They make excellent fire-works as well. There’s a lot of iPods out there too. I think it’s probably wrong to use a broad brush for all Chinese made goods. That being said, I wouldn’t buy a Chinese made car anytime soon.

I’m old enough to remember when “Made in Japan” meant you were buying garbage. The Japanese did an excellent job of increasing the quality of their goods to the point where many prefer to see “Made in Japan” on the goods they buy. The Chinese badly want to make inroads into Western markets, so I expect their quality will grow until Chinese customers will buy Chinese with pride, and American customers will still buy whatever the cheapest junk thrown off the boat is.

Yes, I was going to mention that. Just after WWII into the early 60’s the U.S. was flooded with cheaply made Japanese products. Mostly toys, and the ‘made in Japan’ label became a running joke. By the 80’s people were not laughing and even fears of Japan taking over the world’s economy began to surface.
Though each case is different. Drawing parallels between China and Japan without specific comparisons is a bit too vague. Though in electronics the Chinese have shown they can make competitive products.
I think the Byd is similar to the Russian Lada, a car you probably never heard of. These cars are inferior and can only exist due to state sponsorship and a captive buying public.

I mostly agree but point out that most electronics made in china are designed by western companies and manufactured to order. They excel at low cost manual assembly. Some Chinese semiconductor companies design their own chips though most of these firms have root in Taiwan.

I wouldn’t really be comparing BYD with Lada. Lada and other Eastern European cars (products) were inferior because their R&D budget was set by communist governments. That’s why companies like Skoda went from from superior to inferior products. During communism, people used to be on waiting lists for a car for a few years, there was no need to create better products. I don’t want to comment on if BYD is inferior or not, I guess they target different customers than Tesla. Warren Buffet wouldn’t be investing in them if their business model was poor.

Ladas are notorious for catching on fire. Watch the video below. That’s not a little fire, that’s a Lada fire! 🙂

Yes comparing it to a Lada is probably a stretch, although Buffet’s investment, while interesting is no guarantee.
“Chinese car and battery manufacturer BYD has reported a fall in profits for the first six months of 2012 of a 94 per cent. It blames the decline in Chinese car sales domestically and internationally for the fall. BYD, 10 per cent of which is owned by American investor Warren Buffet, expects overall losses for the year will be around 75-95 per cent.”
Well, they are trying to bring the Byd to an international market, I just think they are kidding themselves as the quality of their cars are very low. They could improve, and they could be a player, I just think it is unlikely we will be seeing anything extraordinary or memorable from Byd, except maybe in the bus department.

If they can’t buy a Tesla, I guess they will have to settle for a Kandi for $3/hour.

It easier to deal with China than NJ, TX and AZ.

According to a poll, the Chinese have a lower view of electric cars than most other countries. I suspect that is because they have been riding lead-acid electric bikes for years and haven’t had to deal with ever-rising gas prices.

Teslas have no MSG!

That’s too bad, as MSG is considered to be a popular condiment in many Asian cultures…

MSG is a natural occurance substance.

First discovered in Japan from fermentation of the seaweed in flavoring.. You can make them from grains fermentation or chemical synthesis… The process of making soy sauce can have MSG but ocurring naturally.

The first way is natural.

To brush off “MSG” as a whole is naive or ignorant.

“So, if you buy a Model S in Beijing, then you’ve skirted around several issues tied to the typical EV in China and you’ve gained the right to actually drive your vehicle on the city’s congested streets.”

No you haven’t, since only domestically made EVs are eligible for subsidies/benefits.