Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tesla founder Musk visits China as competitors show off new electric vehicles

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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.

A brief online report from state broadcaster CCTV said that Mr 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 was not clear whether Mr Musk would visit the auto show, which runs throughout this week.

Tesla has a major manufacturing base in Shanghai for both domestic sales in China and exports to Europe and other regions (Susan Walsh/AP)

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 dollars) and the Model Y to 249,900 yuan (35,200 dollars), following similar reductions in the US.

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.

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