Elon Musk Visits China Amid Tesla Rough Patch

Trip comes amid Beijing's big auto show featuring EV rivals to automaker
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 28, 2024 8:31 AM CDT
Elon Musk Visits China Amid Tesla Rough Patch
A worker wipes down an electric car made by China's BYD at the Bejing auto show Sunday, April 28, 2024.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk arrived in the Chinese capital on Sunday, just as the nation's carmakers are showing off their latest electric vehicle models at the Beijing auto show, per the AP. A brief online report from state broadcaster CCTV said Musk had come at the invitation of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and met with its president, Ren Hongbin, to exchange views on further cooperation and other topics. It wasn't clear whether Musk would visit the auto show, which runs through this week. Chinese automakers and startups have launched a bevy of electric cars in recent years, some going head-to-head with Tesla and undercutting the American maker on price.

Tesla has a major manufacturing base in Shanghai for both domestic sales in China and exports to Europe and other regions. It cut prices in China a week ago, dropping the Model 3 to 231,900 yuan ($32,700) and the Model Y to 249,900 yuan ($35,200), following similar reductions in the US. The move is only the latest sign of turbulence for Tesla. Meanwhile, the European Union has launched an investigation into Chinese subsidies for the EV industry that could lead to tariffs on electric vehicles made in China, potentially including Tesla cars.

The green energy subsidies have helped transform the Chinese auto market, with EVs reaching about a quarter of new car sales last year, eating into demand for gasoline-powered vehicles. Foreign automakers such as Volkswagen and Nissan are scrambling to develop new EV models to hold onto or claw back market share in China, the world's largest automobile market. (It wasn't immediately clear if Musk brought his "emotional support human"—his 3-year-old son.)

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