Tesla Inc. TSLA has extended its streak of price cuts into the new year, reinforcing fears that the electric vehicle maker is fundamentally challenged.
What Happened: Tesla China now lists the price of the base Model 3 version — the rear-wheel drive variant — at 229,900 yuan ($33,555), which is a reduction of about 13.6% from the earlier pricing of 265,900 yuan.
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Incidentally, the same vehicle sells for $46,990, excluding potential savings, in the U.S. This suggests, the base Model 3 variant is available for a discount of 28.7% in China.
The Model 3 Performance variant pricing is 329,900 yuan compared to the previous pricing of 349,900 yuan, a 5.7% downward adjustment.
The EV maker also lowered the pricing of its best-selling electrified Model Y SUV.
The current pricing of the variants is as follows:
- Model Y RWD: 259,900 yuan, down about 10% from 288,900 yuan
- Model Y dual-motor, all-wheel drive Long Range Edition: 309,900 yuan, down 13.4% from 357,900 yuan
- Model Y AWD Performance: 359,900 yuan, down 9.6% from 397,900 yuan.
Model Y AWD LR version is priced at $65,990 in the U.S., which suggests it is 31.5% higher than the Made-in-China Model Y variant.
The recent price cuts are in the order of 5.7%-13.5%.
Tesla also introduced Model S and Model X pricing on its Chinese website.
The Model X has a pricing of 879,900 for the dual-motor AWD model and 1.04 million yuan for the Plaid Edition. The Model S dual-motor AWD version and the Model S Plaid Edition are priced at 789,900 yuan and 1.01 million yuan, respectively.
The China site also lists Cybertruck with performance and feature details, with the company asking for subscribing to get updates bn it.
Why It’s Important: Tesla’s China sales slowed to 55,796 units in December, down 44% from November, 21% lower than in the year-ago period, Reuters reported, citing data from the China Passenger Car Association.
While consumer slowdown amid the recurring COVID-19 incidences and the macroeconomic turmoil is weighing down sales, the company is also stymied by intensifying rivalry with domestic upstarts.
Warren Buffett-backed BYD Manufacturing Company Limited BYDDY BYDDF reported last week that its December all-electrified vehicle sales climbed 132% year-over-year to 111,939 units in December. Smaller rivals such as Nio Inc. NIO and Li Auto Inc. LI also reported fairly robust numbers for December.
Tesla bull Gary Black had been sounding out the need for a sub-$30,000 car in China in order to compete better with the domestic rivals.
The recent price cuts come on top of an initial round of price cuts, averaging 9%, announced in late October in China. The company followed it up with another price adjustment in early November when it announced a 4,000-yuan insurance subsidy reduction. Subsequently, in early December, the company offered a 6,000-yuan discount on inventory cars.
Price Action: Tesla closed Thursday’s session down 2.90%, at $110.34, according to Benzinga Pro.
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