BMW and Volkswagen (VW) have announced massive price cuts in China, following the likes of 5 other automakers who are battling an initial price cut from Tesla late last year.
Tesla’s massive price cut in China has caused an avalanche of similar price adjustments from competing manufacturers attempting to keep up. This includes domestic Chinese brands like Xpeng and BYD and import brands like Ford, Nissan, and Toyota. Now, BMW and VW have also jumped into the mix, slashing prices on some of their most popular models.
As initially reported by CnEVPost, BMW’s price cut is by far the most significant of the adjustments seen in the market. The BMW i3 (not the same as the hatchback sold in western markets) has seen its price cut by 100,000 yuan ($14,623) to help combat the slide in sales the premium German automaker has seen. At the same time, VW has cut prices across the board by up to 40,000 yuan ($5,849), applying to ID.4, ID.6, and ID.3 vehicles in China. This follows an 8.5% decline in VW sales in the region during the first two months of the year compared to the same time in 2022.
VW has also cut its prices in Europe following the introduction of its newest generation ID.3.
The response from other brands has been similar, if not more extreme. On select models, Ford cut prices by as much as 40,000 yuan ($5,849), Nissan by as much as 60,000 yuan ($8,773), Toyota by as much as 30,000 yuan ($4,386), Xpeng by as much as 36,000 yuan ($5,264), and BYD by as much as 8,888 yuan ($1,299).
Ironically, Tesla is far from the price leader in electric vehicles, with numerous brands like BYD and NIO already offering substantially cheaper vehicles. But many analysts believe that Tesla’s more popular offerings attract buyers at multiple price brackets, hence the resulting adjustment from so many competitors.
Sadly, these same price adjustments have not been instituted outside the Chinese market with the same regularity. Despite a similar price adjustment from Tesla in the United States earlier this year, thus far, the only sizable adjustment has come from Ford. The same can be said for Europe, where, despite a slightly smaller discount, other brands have yet to respond as aggressively.
Tesla has shown a willingness to continue to cut prices in many markets, including China and the West, but it remains unclear how other manufacturers will react to the movement. With such a clear response from buyers in China, competitors had little choice but to battle the more popular offerings from Tesla, but the reaction in the West has not been as pronounced. However, with Tesla’s first-quarter delivery numbers expected to be announced shortly, consumer reaction to North American price adjustments may become more apparent.
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