THE electric vehicle (EV) price war in China is getting even uglier as top players like Tesla Inc. launch new models and others aggressively cut prices in a bid to stem slowing growth in the world’s biggest auto market.
Tesla became the latest to kick things off Friday when it unveiled its highly anticipated revamped Model 3.
Minutes later, the U.S. company slashed prices across its range of Model S and X cars in China and the United States.
Guangzhou-based Xpeng Inc. was quick to follow. Seen as one of the most direct competitors to Tesla, it said it will now offer discounts on its flagship P7i sedan of up to 24,000 yuan (US$3,300) for the month of September.
Other automakers have also piled in with Zhejiang Leapmotor Technologies Ltd. discounting the price of its T03 compact hatchback by up to 10,000 yuan this month, according to a Weibo post.
There were signs that China’s intense EV price war, which has eaten into automakers’ margins, was starting to abate in June and July but Friday’s action has cast doubt over that.
Carmakers are struggling to defend their share in a shrinking market. Overall car sales for July fell 2.3% versus last year, while EVs and plug-in hybrids grew at 32% — still robust but a far cry from the 117% surge seen the same time in 2022.
EV firms are also adding to their war chests. While this will help some survive for longer, it could draw out the costly fight.
“If you’re not the latest and greatest, you are left with price discounts as your only weapon,” Bill Russo, CEO of Automobility Ltd., a Shanghai-based consultancy, said, in reference to Tesla’s latest moves. (SD-Agencies)
ARTICLE FROM: Shenzhen Daily