Chinese media report that Tesla has been included in a special license program for electric cars in the southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province.
In December last year Shenzhen implemented a program to limit the number of new car licenses to 100.000 a year, in a bid to fight pollution and traffic jams. The number is divided by 80.000 licenses for petrol-powered cars and 20.000 licenses for electric cars.
And one for the secretary. A long line of Model S in front of Tesla’s China headquarters.
Reports in Chinese media say Tesla China has a record inventory of 2301 Model S cars. The number is based on a comparison of the 2014 sales number and the 2014 import number: in 2014 Tesla sold 2499 Model S cars in China, but the company imported 4800 cars, leaving a gap of exactly 2301.
It is the first time that the exact 2014 sales number for Tesla in China has been revealed, 2499 accounts for 208.25 cars a month. The numbers have been confirmed by various Tesla employees and ‘insiders’, speaking anonymously to said media.
Who is in and who is out? Main entrance of the Tesla China headquarters in Beijing.
Chinese media report that Tesla Motors will cut one third of its staff in China, counting for 200 full-time jobs. The cuts will mostly effect sales and marketing, but other departments will also see hits, including sales, marketing, public relations, legal, and even technical support. Sales will see a hefty 50% cut, including front-line sales personnel working in stores, after-sales personnel, and sales consultants.
The market for Low-speed Electric Vehicles (LSEV) is booming in China. In 2014 over 300.000 vehicles were sold, in third-tier cities, townships and counties across North China, East China and Central China. LSEV’s are small, sell cheap, and usually come with a tiny motor (example, example).
Shifeng Group, in Shandong province, had the largest sales of more than 60,000 units by November 2014. Hebei Yogomo Special Vehicle Manufacturing Co, in Hebei province, sold more than 50,000 units.
Tesla is struggling in China, lacking stores and superchargers. And now they have something else to worry about: local competition, of some sort.
The above car is the Aoxin Ibis, an impressive full electric full size sedan with a Tesla-like logo on the enormous and enormously shiny grille. The Aoxin Ibis debuted last year on the New Energy Auto Show in Shanghai (NEAS) and will be launched on the Chinese car market in the second half of this year. The girls seem impressed, and that is a good start. There is more:
China, the largest auto market in the world, is facing excessive overcapacity. Some 23.5 million vehicles were sold in China last year and the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) estimates this will grow 7 percent to around 25 million units this year, but at least one-third of the country’s auto assembly lines will remain idle in 2015.
BYD will open its first passenger car factory in Brazil this year, with the aim of revolutionizing the country’s urban transport by focusing on cheap electric taxis and vehicles for car-sharing schemes. Adalberto Maluf Filho, director of the company’s marketing and governmental affairs in Brazil, told ChinaDaily that BYD is ready to provide non-polluting buses and taxis for large cities such as Rio and Sao Paulo.
This is Part 2 in our series about the problems Tesla is facing in China. Part 1, about stores and service centers, was published on February 11. Today we take a look at Tesla’s Supercharger network in China, which is far too small to cover the whole country. How many stations do they have now, and why don’t they have more?
Yesterday Reuters reported that Tesla sold only 120 cars in China in January. CEO Elon Musk might fire whoever he wants, but sales won’t get any better soon. We will tell you why not in a brand new series on Tesla’s operations in China, starting today with Part 1:
Tesla doesn’t have enough stores and service centers in China
According to Tesla’s China website the company has ten stores (‘experience centers’) and only three (03) service centers. That is not much for the largest car market in the world, in a country of 1.4 billion people. The number is even less impressive than it seems because most stores double as service centers. A closer look:
More bad news for Tesla in China. Anonymous sources from within Tesla told Reuters the company only sold 120 cars in China in January, and that CEO Elon Musk is threatening to fire country managers. Reuters says that Musk “threatened to fire or demote country managers if they are ‘not on a clear path to positive long-term cash flow.'” Two top China managers left the company in 2014.