Tesla steals the spotlight in the 2022 China International Import Expo

Credit: Grace Tao/Weibo

At the 2022 China International Import Expo (CIIE), the largest import trade show in the world, Tesla showed off its growing allure to Chinese consumers through an exhibition of its compelling electric vehicles and its upcoming humanoid robot.

Even though some of the vehicles on display at the CIIE like the Model S Plaid and the Model X Plaid were not yet available to mainland Chinese consumers, the US automaker once again stole the show. A good part of the Tesla booth’s allure at the CIIE was the presence of Optimus, the company’s humanoid robot that CEO Elon Musk expects could start deliveries in 3-5 years. 

As noted in a South China Morning Post (SCMP), expectations were already high that there would be fewer people at this year’s CIIE event, partly due to the country’s Covid-19 issues. Despite this, Tesla’s booth was reportedly busy, with visitors checking out the company’s new vehicles. 

For context, the Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid are only available for order in China. Deliveries of the vehicle are not available yet. That being said, expectations are high that the flagship vehicles are estimated to start at about 1 million yuan (US$139,179) after factoring in import taxes.

A Tesla official at the company’s CIIE booth has stated that the hectic scene went beyond expectations. Tesla China “had just hoped to share its latest products and vision about new-energy vehicles, but many visitors were keen on owning the new models,” the official said. 

In a statement, the chief executive of Shanghai Yacheng Culture, a company that specializes in marketing and branding, noted that Tesla’s successful CIIE appearance shows that domestic consumers and the electric vehicle maker are intertwined. 

“Tesla’s success in China proves that Chinese consumers and US products are still intertwined. After all, geopolitical tensions will not stop US and European companies from doing business in China, because of the gargantuan size of the market,” the executive said. 

One of the event’s attendees, Chris Xia, noted that visitors to Tesla’s booth were there because they were aware of the company’s prestige in the EV sector. “Visitors are here to get a taste of the best electric vehicles (EVs) in the world. Tesla is not just a US carmaker, it is a global carmaker particularly because of the contribution by its Shanghai Gigafactory,” Xia said. 

A video of Tesla’s exhibit at the 2022 CIIE can be viewed below. 

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Tesla steals the spotlight in the 2022 China International Import Expo
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