Volkswagen cuts prices in China fanning price war flames

(Credit: Volkswagen)

SAIC Volkswagen—a joint venture between SAIC Motor and VW—offered sales incentives of up to RMB 60,000 on nine sport utility vehicle models in China in August.

SAIC Volkswagen’s price cuts follow Tesla’s decision to lower prices on select Model Y vehicles this month. Tesla and SAIC Volkswagen’s decreasing prices are fanning the flames of China’s price war—again.

SAIC Volkswagen cut its prices to increase demand. The company’s strategy is working. Nikkei Asia observed that one SAIC Volkswagen dealership in Shanghai experienced a strong stream of customers visiting to check out vehicles in August. 

“Customer traffic has increased because we cut prices. Sales have been strong, too,” commented one sales associate at a SAIC Volkswagen dealership. 

SAIC Volkswagen’s recent price cut in August comes right after the decreased price of the ID.3 electric vehicle last month. In July, the Volkswagen ID.3’s price was reduced from RMB 142,900 ($19,600) to RMB 119,900 ($16,446). The SAIC Motors and the German automaker saw increased sales of the ID.3 with a surge in sales compared to June. SAIC Volkswagen sold 7,378 ID.3 units in July and only 1,819 units in June. 

Tesla also lowered the prices of select Model Y units in China this month. The Texas-based automaker dropped the price of the Model Y Long Range and Performance variants by 4.5% and 3.8%, respectively. Tesla also offered RMB 8,000 worth of subsidies for Model 3 RWD vehicles until September 30. 

The price war has started fossil fuel car sales as well. In July 2023, The China Association of Manufacturers (CAAM) brokered a truce between Tesla and 16 Chinese automakers to end the price war in the country. However, it was short-lived. The truce ended after the CAAM retracted the “abnormal pricing provision, claiming it violated China’s antitrust laws.  

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Volkswagen cuts prices in China fanning price war flames
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