Featured image: Reuters
While various Chinese startups continue to design and build electric vehicles, the local auto market is fascinated by the Tesla Model 3, which has three times the sales of its closest competitor.
“Competition is getting heated, but Tesla enjoys an overwhelming advantage,” said Chen Jinzhu, chief executive of Shanghai Mingliang Auto Service, which sells car insurance and works with second-hand vehicles, reports the South China Morning Post. “The grim reality is that Chinese drivers would choose Tesla now as the cars are priced attractively."
Tesla sold 11,014 Model 3s manufactured by Giga Shanghai, which exceeds the cumulative number of vehicles sold from its closest three competitors. The sales of GAC Aion S came in at 3,685 units, Buick Velite 6 with 3,411, and All New BYD Qin sold 3,400, bringing them in at 2nd, 3rd and 4th places, respectively.
“Tesla, as the most established NEV brand worldwide with the most mature technology, is ratcheting up pressure on the Chinese rivals as it reported buoyant sales of Model 3 cars,” said Yale Zhang, managing director of industry researcher Automotive Foresight. "It is not an easy job to unseat it from the leading position."
Tesla has become especially popular in China after receiving government incentives of 25,000 yuan and price reduction. Although Model 3 was not the lowest price among the competition, Tesla's high-quality cars were still the most popular.
“We will choose a domestic brand NEV only if it is priced at least 30% lower than Tesla,” said Chen Yong, a Shanghai native who is in the market for an electric car. Buying a Model 3 seems like the best and most compelling deal for the Chinese buyer looking to make the switch to an electric vehicle.
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