Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is pulling out all the stops to fend off competition in China, including offering a new subsidy program that requires the automaker’s in-house insurance program. The automaker is facing worthy competition from Chinese automakers, a note from analysts at Morgan Stanley said, which has resulted in Tesla utilizing a few strategies to convince consumers to buy their product over others.
The Chinese automotive market is highly competitive and features the largest number of potential customers in the world. China has routinely dominated other countries in terms of the number of registered vehicles per year, and as the automotive industry has started to transition more rapidly to electrification, China’s automakers have also brought forth their best technology in an attempt to lead the charge.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has even commented in the past that Chinese automakers are among his company’s greatest competition.
“I have a great deal of respect for the many Chinese automakers for driving these technologies,” Musk said. “My frank observation is that Chinese automobile companies are the most competitive in the world, especially because some are very good at software, and it is software that will most shape the future of the automobile industry, from design to manufacturing and especially autonomous driving.”
Morgan Stanley reiterated this point in a note from September 19, where analysts commented that Tesla shareholders should not ignore domestic Chinese EV brands:
“Tesla China is facing its biggest ever competition in China from domestic Chinese EV companies driving the company to increase its long-awaited promotional activities in the China market.”
The note continued to detail how Tesla is attempting to fend off worthy competition in China by offering a variety of advantages. One includes the delivery timeline, which was significantly reduced. Tesla is also offering a new subsidy worth $1,140, or 8,000 RMB, to customers who already have a reservation for a Model 3 or Model Y. This subsidy comes with a catch, however, because the customer must have Tesla’s in-house insurance program, which expanded to China last year after launching in the U.S. in 2019.
Morgan Stanley said:
“Although Tesla has been successful in lowering the delivery time-line to 1-4 weeks from 4-8 weeks previously, amid rising production, our China auto team says Tesla started offering a subsidy of $1,140 (RMB 8,000) to its customers who already have a reservation for Model 3/Y. This subsidy (available only to customers who purchase Tesla Insurance) is available from 16th Sep to 30th Sep.
According to local media, such promotions could help to urge consumers to ‘lock in’ their orders and smooth the pace of deliveries into peak season while entering new customers into the brand at more affordability prices to complement shorter delivery time-lines.”
Although Morgan Stanley remains bullish on Tesla, the firm states that companies such as NIO, Xpeng, Li Auto, and others are popular and have “competitive model pipelines” that could go head to head with Tesla. These automakers are also offering discounts and subsidies to lower prices.
Disclosure: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.
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