back to article Elon Musk says he doesn’t want 100% tariff on China-made electric vehicles

Tesla supremo Elon Musk is criticizing the import tax that the Biden administration has levied against Chinese electric vehicles, saying Tesla doesn't need them. The CEO voiced his opinion about the new 100 percent tariff on China-made EVs at the Viva Tech conference in Paris, according to the Telegraph, which quoted him as …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    How dare a mere President do something without consulting Musk? The very idea!!

    1. Justthefacts Silver badge

      How dare a car company lobby a government about car tarriffs….such a thing has never happened before!

    2. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

      Not to mention the fact this President is trying to interfere with Musk's favourite supply chain...

  2. rgjnk
    Devil

    Not a surprise

    Not the first time he's pushed the Party line is it?

    Elon sold his soul to China when he signed the contracts to set up in Shanghai, and they've maintained a very firm grip on his balls ever since.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

    “The Biden administration reportedly will slap a 100% tariff on Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports, except that no Chinese cars presently are offered for sale in the United States.”

    “If China wanted to retaliate against the new American tariffs, it has a target-rich environment. General Motors last year sold 2.1 million cars in China. In most years, GM sells more cars in China than in the United States.”

    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg On Why Tesla Was Excluded From White House EV Event (Aug 2021)

    “if President Biden and his administration truly wanted to see EV sales rise, they would consider a federal law allowing companies such as Tesla, Rivian, and Bollinger to sell directly to their customers in every state.”

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

      Chinese companies are setting up shop in Mexico hoping to sidestep the U.S. import tariffs.

      BYD is claiming that its screwdriver operation in Mexico won't export EV's to the U.S. Is there anyone thick enough to believe this bullshit? At the very least they'll export to Canada.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

        In order to get Mexican built "Chinese" EVs into the US, they would have to be certified by the manufacturer as meeting US emissions and safety standards. Anybody think that'll be easy? Odds are that there will always be something wrong with the paperwork One more form to fill out, one more certification, Wrong type of Sulfur Dioxide sensor used in the emissions testing, etc, etc, etc. (But, but, but, it's an EV. Sorry Senor ... Chang, is it?, EV or not you must still run the test).

        I'm sure the Chinese are well aware of the situation. I'm guessing that they plan to sell their Mexican production in Latin America.

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

          One of the target vehicles for production in Mexico is a direct competitor to the Ford's top selling F150 trick. Its a plug-in hybrid that sells for a lot less than the Ford truck.

          There's a lot of people on these boards who still think that Chinese vehicles are second-rate knockoffs that will immediately fall apart. I seem to recall we used to say the same thing about Japanese vehicles right up to the point where Japanese became the products to beat for quality, reliability and sheer value for money. China already makes a lot of components and even complete vehicles for western car companies so its only natural they'd eventually see their own product.

          1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

            Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

            I personally wouldn't buy a Chinese EV. It's long term reliability and parts availability I'm worried about. But I can imagine that lower-income consumers might want to take the risk if they're selling a cheap EV for $9000 or less like the BYD Seagull.

            1. abend0c4 Silver badge

              Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

              reliability and parts availability

              The cost of maintenance for all vehicles, but EVs in particular, seems to be going through the roof, coupled with increasing difficulty in obtaining parts. This may be related to having reached a level of complexity in vehicles such that garages are struggling to diagnose faults, particularly in interdependent components. I don't see the country of origin as being a big factor in this, it seems mostly a function of vehicle age, with the newest being the most costly to fix.

              It ought to be possible to make EVs that are significantly simpler and easier to repair than ICE equivalents, but that does not seem to be the market trajectory.

              1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

                Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

                I've famously predicted that EV's will eventually be MUCH cheaper to buy and operate than ICE cars. We're already seeing this in China.

                Western manufacturers are currently selling EV's as a luxury product (because of their huge acceleration and smooth ride) and there's therefore a disconnect between their vehicles and the Chinese EV's, which are being sold to middle-income consumers.

                EV's will eventually also be much more reliable than ICE cars. And even more exciting: EV's will enable standardization of parts like electric motors, motor controllers and battery packs, allowing third parties to make and sell interchangeable parts.

                1. Joe Burmeister

                  Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

                  They should be cheaper and more standardized, but I think car manufacturers are pushing the other way. They want all parted to be "coded" (car part DRM) because of money, sorry, I mean "safety".

                  Car were going this way regardless of EVs.

                  The answer is Right To Repair regulations.

                  The market will get there. Companies that don't DRM their car parts will make cheaper cars and win customers who get it. But it will take ages. Let's skip to the better outcome and avoid all the waste.

                2. Madra Rua
                  IT Angle

                  Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

                  The Chinese government is massively subsidising the price of each Chinese EV sold in china, which is why they are able to sell sub 25K EV's that normally retail for 40k+ in the west. People always make the mistake of comparing China's economics to that of the rest of the world - its radically different. EV dominance is a long term strategic goal of the CCP, so they have no issues with throwing billions of public money at the industry to keep it cheaper that the rest of the world. They did the same thing with the solar industry.

          2. Casca Silver badge

            Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

            Have you used a BYD car? Yea, thought so...

        2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

          The Chinese have been exporting EV's and ICE cars to Europe for quite some time where the emissions and safety regulations are at least as stringent as in the U.S. So yes, I do believe they'll be able to make EV's (which don't have any emissions in the first place) that can meet U.S. emissions and safety regulations.

      2. cryptopants

        Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

        Mexico has already been told by the US that the North American trade agreement, or whatever they call it now, is exclusively for the benefit of the three nations. And if they offering themselves up as a back door to get around the spirit of that agreement, It could result in the US or one of the other nations, withdrawing, and the whole thing will come unraveled.

        1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

          Officially there are no restrictions for non-NAFTA manufacturers to export to the U.S. from within NAFTA borders. VW is building cars in Mexico and several Japanese electronics manufacturers are exporting to U.S. soil as well.

          Obviously the U.S. can ban anyone it wants from exporting to its market and neither Canada nor Mexico will be able to do much about it. But it would eventually undermine the NAFTA-treaty and that wouldn't be in the U.S. interest. In China's case I believe Mexico won't push the matter further since they understand the political sensitivities involved.

      3. dafe

        Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

        What does it matter? Last time I checked, Canada was not in the USA.

        1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

          What I'm saying is that BYD isn't setting up shop in Mexico to supply the local market. It's an attempt to side-step the U.S. import tariffs. It's a gamble for them since the U.S. may simply ban their cars from entering the market, but they have to try. At the very least the Chinese are hoping to drive a wedge between the NAFTA partners.

          Canada is a tiny market compared to the U.S. but still better than supplying only Mexico.

    2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

      The sale of U.S. cars in China doesn't mean much if they're planning to export ten times that amount to the U.S. and wiping out your industrial base.

      1. dafe

        Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

        Would that be the industrial base that the USA have outsourced from Detroit to Mexico with a free trade agreement? Or the industrial base they have been outsourcing to China for forty years and are now trying to build back better?

        1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

          Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

          U.S. manufacturers supplying the U.S. from Mexican soil isn't the issue. It's China trying to undermine the U.S. industrial base by destroying the U.S. car-industry by swamping the market with cheap, subsidized cars.

          1. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

            I'll give you the 'cheap' but 'subsidized'? With what are they going to subsidize their products? We're one of the richest markets in the world, if not the richest so an awful lot of not-very-rich countries would have to yield significant profits to provide the wherewithall to subsidize product here.

            The problem we have here is new vehicles are overpriced. The average cost of a new car in the US is now pushing $50,000. Electrics are regarded as luxury vehicles even with the $4000 rebate a buyer gets from the government (a subsidy that's only available for US product, BTW). The problem is that the cars are cheap -- as they should be at the bottom, utilitarian, end -- and US customers are hungry for inexpensive cars because a lot of them just can't afford new ones. (The average age of a car in the US is now pushing 12 years -- unlike, say, the UK we can't push government programs to prematurely obsolete vehicles so cars just get handed down and fixed until literally they fall apart.)(FWIW -- Our cars are pushing 100,000 and 150,000 miles.)

            The last time someone imported a really cheap car, the Yugo, It initially sold well because it was literally a quarter the price of Detroit's new offerings. It got a full court press of negative publicity, some deserved, a lot not, the emphasis being its origins as a 'commie' car and so on. Some of its reputation was deserved since it was an obsolete Fiat that was made in Yugoslavia. Cars like the 'Seagull' pose a somewhat bigger threat because while they, too, are a quarter the cost of an average US car (and being small you get what you pay for) their quality is likely to be a whole lot higher. Unfortunately US manufacturers can't make cheap vehicles because the entire supply and service food chain is set up to extract profit and anything that undermines this annoys powerful political forces (Tesla had to do quite a dance to even be able to sell its cars in the US -- we don't really do 'free markets' here.....)

            1. SundogUK Silver badge

              Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

              "...the entire supply and service food chain is set up to extract profit."

              This is utter rubbish. The US car industry is over-regulated and unionised, which drives costs sky high. Fords profit margin has been around 5-10% for years, which is pretty rubbish.

              https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/F/ford-motor/net-profit-margin

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

      If you believe a word that the Orange Jesus says, there will be ZERO us auto workers inside 2 years 'When the Chinese Cars eat their lunch'.

      Here is the current POTUS putting a tariff on Chinese made cars just to protect those USW members who have endorsed him for POTUS.

      As for Elon, he takes his lead from TOJ (The orange Jesus) who is his political master. He hates it that thanks to these tariffs, he can't import Chinese made Tesla's into the USA which will naturally make him more $$$$$$$ which he needs to pay off the loans he took out to buy Twitter.

      Musk is being played by Trump for a fool.

      GM, VW and a few other makers would dearly love to sell cars that they make in the PRC. Again, this is purely for more profit.

      Geely with its brands like PoleStar, and Volvo would love for zero tariffs.

    4. DoctorNine

      Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

      Simple question. Is Volvo Chinese?

      1. Mark Exclamation

        Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

        These days it is, yes.

      2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: No Chinese cars presently for sale in the United States.

        Yes. Their older models have been developed in Sweden and are still produced there, but their newer models are partially or mostly Chinese stuff with some Swedish involvement, mostly in safety systems.

        All their EV's are essentially Chinese with minor Swedish engineering and styling. Once the older models are phased out I suspect the brand will merely become a screwdriver operation.

  4. DS999 Silver badge

    Of course he doesn't

    He's worried China will increase tariffs on imports of US cars as tit-for-tat and Teslas will be effectively pushed out of China's market. He knows it would take years before China would be able to enter the US market so he doesn't want tariffs NOW, he wants to benefit from sales in China in the meantime but once Chinese EVs became a threat to domestic Tesla sales he'd be first in line to shout for tariffs on Chinese imports. If the big 3 have been hurt in the meantime, all the better as far as he's concerned.

    As for the $7500 tax credit, he sure took a different tack in the past when that was all that kept Tesla from going bankrupt. Now that's he's achieved economies of scale, he wants to pull the rug out from under the competition before they can also reach economies of scale.

    He's the sort of guy that would loudly demand he be provided a ladder to climb at someone else's expense, but once he reaches the top kick it over while others in the process in the climbing so he alone can be on top.

    1. Catkin Silver badge

      Re: Of course he doesn't

      More Teslas are sold in NA than China. Perhaps he recognises that, if we really want to fight climate change, we need to get cheap EVs in the hands of the working classes, who far outnumber the well to do who can afford a Tesla. Personally, I cannot reconcile any government that professes to want to lower emissions slapping tariffs on EVs. Make them so cheap that people choose them irrespective of fast charging point costs.

      Musk may be a prat but that doesn't make him automatically wrong.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Of course he doesn't

        If you put the millions of people who work in the US auto industry and related industries from parts to restaurants and bars around factories out of work, you're going to have much bigger problems than slowing improvements in climate change.

        Climate change is important, but pretending it is the only thing that should matter for government policy is as ignorant as the people who pretend it shouldn't matter at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Of course he doesn't

          I am pretty sure these are undocumented illegal immigrants, send them back south of the Rio Grande!

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Of course he doesn't

          I think you mean "climate change is important but not as much a vote winner as employment". The same is true when it comes to building insurance: Florida is now on the hook for most properties for storm damage and flooding… But try enforcing mandatory insurance and winning the next election.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Of course he doesn't

            Fixing the climate is going to cost a LOT of money. If your economy is in the toilet, you can't afford to fix the economy unless things get so bad you turn into a third world country where people can't afford cars or to even heat their homes.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Of course he doesn't

              I don't want to get into sophistry but there is a risk of logical fallacy in your argument. Obviously, you have to be able to pay to make the changes. However, the costs of inaction and mitigiation seem to keep rising and could, at some point, outweigh the ability of any economy to pay for them. What are we supposed to do then?

              We could take Nicholas Stern's report and see how much of that has panned out. A lot of changes are fairly simple and don't have to cost a lot. I remember watching a documentary, 30-odd years ago, with Amory Lovins from the Rocky Mountain Institute and one of the suggestions he was making then was to give energy efficient technology to the developing world, especially India and China, so that they would need to build less generation capacity. Guess what? He was absolutely right. If we'd started giving solar cells and energy efficient lighting back then, demand for electricity could have been less. Sobering to think of the wasted opportunities since then. He made a lot of good suggestions that are easy to follow.

              Other things are possible, necessary even, to provide market signals to encourage companies to change their practices. Subsidies for large vehicles, especially the nonsense around SUVs, are not just counterproductive, they're also very expensive with manufacturers hoping to persuade consumers to buy their premium vehicles at a notional discount. Non-renewable generation capacity also gets accounted as part of "growth", when it's quite clearly the opposite. Carbon pricing can offset actual generation costs but the capital investment could also be considered as a potential liability rather than an asset. But changing accounting practices to support political goals is fraught with difficulty, and thus abuse, so I'm leaving that as an idea.

          2. dafe

            Re: Of course he doesn't

            Climate fixing technologies should create employment, so that's really the same thing, isn't it?

            Unless propping up obsolete business models and their rightsizing is more important than creating new jobs.

      2. Francis Boyle

        I have no idea

        what Musk's motivations are (I suspect the man himself has only the vaguest idea) but I hope you're right. A 100% tariff on EVs from the only nation that is currently in a position to produce genuinely affordable EVs is lunacy.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Of course he doesn't

        EVs reduce pollution where they're used only. Their production is another matter entirely. Basically, there are too many cars on the roads and too many journeys. Doesn't matter what technology when you factor in what's required to allow it all to happen.

    2. Mostly Irrelevant

      Re: Of course he doesn't

      Almost every Tesla sold in China is built in China.

  5. rcxb Silver badge

    While the US objects to Chinese subsidies, Tesla has benefited greatly from US subsidies and tax breaks, which are only available for US made electric vehicles. Not entirely equivalent, but the US pretend their hands are entirely clean of market manipulation. And if the US really wants a policy shift to EVs, they should let China dump cheap EVs on the market to spur widespread adoption.

    It's non-EV manufacturers who would stand to lose out to Chinese EVs, and honestly, they deserve to. The future is EVs, anybody not pivoting hard to them right now will be going out of business in 20 years, this trade barrier will only keep that from being shortened by a few years.

    1. cryptopants

      Having a domestic production capacity in the auto industry, enables the US to shift a war production in an emergency. Like it did in World War II. It will not sacrifice that on the altar for anything.

      1. dafe

        Have they ever shifted back?

  6. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Hostage

    Musk is essentially a Chinese "hostage" since he knows his company can be shuttered at any time by the Chinese authorities if ordered so by Xi Jingping. By towing the CCP line he hopes to get a stay of execution.

    If the Cold War turns hot Tesla's Chinese arm would implode almost overnight. I'm not sure if the U.S. parent company would survive if this were to happen. Tesla's stock price would take a HUGE hit (50% or more) taking down the company in a matter of weeks.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Hostage

      Tesla's stock price would take a HUGE hit (50% or more) taking down the company in a matter of weeks

      If Tesla's stock price went down by 50% the stock price would be down by 50%. It wouldn't "take down the company". In early 2023 its stock price had fallen from its bubbly heights of over 2x where it is today to around 40% lower than it is today. No one was suggesting it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

      Now since Musk has pledged some of his Tesla shares for the loans he used to buy Twitter it might leverage him to the point where he was forced by the banks to a sell a bunch of his shares to pay down the principal. That might be bad for him (but hardly bankrupting him) and further drive down Tesla's stock price, but not to bankruptcy. That possibility might be one of the reasons he's so eager to push that vote on his $50 billion payout even while Tesla is laying people off.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Hostage

        I expect that if Tesla stock goes down by 50% then X would be out in a matter of weeks...

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Hostage

          You've just been given evidence that this is not the case. There are still plenty of people who are happy to believe whatever Musk tells them and thus buy shares at a crazy P/E ratio. But, more importantly, Musk controls the board and his minority stake is also large enough to make it difficult to force him out.

          2021-11-05: USD 380

          2023-01-06: USD 310

          But still up 1360 % over 5 years. Of course, the recent court case shows how the benefits in the rise in stock price are not equally distributed.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Hostage

            No, they have not just been given that evidence. They didn't say that, at any time, if the price of Tesla stock fell to 50% of the value it had then, that it would collapse. They said that, if it fell to 50% of what it is today, they think something, Tesla or X, would collapse. Presumably, if they were making the same prediction when the price was double what it is today, they would have said that if it fell to 25% of its value, things would collapse. I don't have any reason to think that they're correct, but you can't disprove it based on something that wasn't the same and happened at a different time. Proving something like that would work best if you knew how many shares were pledged as collateral, what value they would need to have for a lender to demand more, and what actions Musk might take, but they can speculate without having that information just as you and I can.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Hostage

              You're the one indulging in interpretation, I was providing evidence against the actual statement. Tesla's share price will have little effect on its ability to do business as long as it doesn't have to raise finance. What always matters are the financials: how many products sold and at what profit. That Tesla is still trading at an unhealthy PE ratio suggests that there are plenty of people still convinced in the business model. Don't expect any pressure on the board until the financials start to suggest over several quarters that this is not the case and that Tesla is going to continue to product around 1 million cars per year at traditional margins. Oh, we might also start to see pressure on those juicy service margins as competition increases.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: Hostage

                I don't know why I'm arguing someone else's point for them, and one I don't necessarily agree with, but your evidence against it is not actually arguing against some of their points. For example:

                "Tesla's share price will have little effect on its ability to do business as long as it doesn't have to raise finance."

                Correct. However, they referred to Musk's personal loans, and they suggested that the thing that collapsed first would be X. Their theory would appear to involve banks requesting more collateral that Musk did not have, then presumably either the banks trying to take Twitter away from him or Musk trying to extract funds from it to pay the loans, either of which could have an effect on that being able to conduct business. In turn, Musk might do various things to Tesla to attempt to get more funds from them which could have a deleterious effect on that business.

                Would any of this happen? I don't know. I have no way to know what the banks would do or how Musk would respond. However, if I intend to disprove it, I have to do more than say that the stock price has been lower, it didn't happen then, therefore it won't happen now.

                1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                  Re: Hostage

                  I don't know why I'm arguing someone else's point for them…

                  Then don't. Especially, if it requires trying to second guess what was meant. The statement "X would be out in a matter of weeks" is open to interpretation, but is clearly not a statement about Twitter's financial position. And you go on to extrapolate from there. Legally, Twitter is Musk's private investment so transferring funds to it from Tesla would be misappropriation of funds.

                  Let's end it there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hostage

      Tesla's stock price would take a HUGE hit (50% or more) taking down the company in a matter of weeks.

      1 - Stock price <> operating capital and reserves

      2 - Musk knows which BS will keep investors happy, as recently demonstrated. He'll just announce yet another improbable but well presented idea at the next earnings call and investors will pile back in because few of them appear to know about actual finance. Or remember all the other things he promised and not delivered.

      1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Hostage

        It's not just the stock price I'm talking about. The company would lose tens of billions if the Chinese arm were to be shut down by Chinese authorities. This obviously has huge impact on its share price but that's not what would do the company in.

        The lawsuits plus the banks pulling in their loans and investors wanting out could bring down the company in weeks. They'll plead in court that Musk should've seen this coming. And in addition there's the political fall-out of Musk investing in an adversary nation. He could even be accused of collusion by some members of Congress.

        It all sounds far fetched now, but once the shit hits the fan things can go South fast.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hostage

          Isn't the South where Musk's right wing tendencies are well supported?

          :)

  7. simonlb Silver badge
    Trollface

    "Things that inhibit freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good."

    Like buying a load of cryptocurrency then broadcasting to everyone that you've bought some because it's really good, so all the Muskovites buy more and drive the value up, before you dump them all a few days later and pocket a nice little big profit?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Things that inhibit freedom of exchange or distort the market are not good."

      Or saying yuo have the funds to takea company private?

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "Neither Tesla nor I asked for these tariffs, I was surprised when they were announced."

    Ego so big he thinks the world revolves around it.

    "Everything that ever happens should only ever be judged on whether or not it's in my personal interest"

  9. Orv Silver badge

    Elon in January: "If there are no trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world."

    Seems like he just switched positions because he can't be seen as on the same side as Biden.

    1. dafe

      Most other car companies does not include Tesla. Or at least he seems to think it doesn't.

  10. pavlecom
    IT Angle

    .. no intention of trying to do better

    That’s honestly the memo for most Chinese goods. Seeing the same fear mongering from solar panels, to EVs, it’s cheaper and better due to being sold closer to actual cost of production. The west needs to cut the stockholders and CEO pay scales to compete, not send Yellen to China begging them to cut production rates of needed goods or set abnormal tariffs on them.

    ".. a tacit admission that they have no intention of trying to do better.

    Instead of competing, they’d rather just shut out competition entirely. The concerns about cybersecurity don’t address the elephant in the room here: Your product sucks, compared to what China is putting out now. It doesn’t go as far. It’s not as well-made. It’s not as nice. It’s not as connected."

    .. "I’d later learn that the (Beijing) auto show had more than 100 (117) new model debuts and concepts. That’s a far cry from the Detroit Auto Show last September, which only featured one fully new model. Two other models were refreshed versions of current cars already on sale. None were electric."

    InsideEVs

    * "According to organizers, Beijing hosted 117 world premieres, including 41 concept cars, and there was a total of 278 electric and plug-in hybrid models on display. .. the 2024 Beijing auto show"

    ** Tesla production cost is 60% less in China than it is in the US.

    1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: .. no intention of trying to do better

      "It’s not as well-made. It’s not as nice. It’s not as connected."

      "Not as connected" is a good thing - especially for goods imported from a different country.

      I'd happily buy Chinese solar panels, since there's nothing coming out of them apart from DC. A Chinese Internet-connected EV? Less sure.

    2. Casca Silver badge

      Re: .. no intention of trying to do better

      It’s not as well-made. It’s not as nice. It’s not as connected.

      Yea sure. You believe that. Have you driven a chinese EV? Its a car from the 90th.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buy a Chinese EV?

    No

    Buy a Muskmobile?

    Still no.

  12. Mostly Irrelevant

    Isn't this a bit of a conflict of interest? Tesla builds a lot of cars in China.

  13. ecarlseen

    Growing the overall US market is good for Tesla

    Cheap Chinese EVs are good for Tesla in the US, and the cheaper the better.

    Tesla aims to be a relatively premium brand like BMW, Audi, Porsche, etc. Just because far cheaper alternatives to those cars exist doesn't eliminate the market for them. People who buy cheap EVs will eventually want to trade-up to luxury EVs, and in the US Tesla is (at least for now) the dominant player in that market. They're not my thing - personally I prefer the Porsche Taycan to the Tesla Model S - but Tesla does seem to be most people's thing (again, at least for now).

    Right now, Tesla's biggest sales problem is the lack of overall acceptance of EVs and the relatively immature state of charging station availability. They know they're not going to make every possible sale, and they can't possibly build enough cars even if they could. Growing the market is their #1 challenge, and cheap Chinese EVs grow the market.

  14. BartyFartsLast Bronze badge

    oh those sweet Yuan

    The only reasons I can think of for Musk being against this tariff after his cosy meeting with Xi Jinping is that they'd come to some deal to open up China's domestic market for his shoddy crap and to outsource huge amounts of US Tesla manufacture to China.

    Chances are when this 100% tariff hits the deal will be off and it will hurt his share price badly, far more than it would help him.

    If only the "patriots" who worship his footsteps had the wit to realise Musk isn't on anybody's side except his own and that his naked greed will destroy domestic manufacturing in the US if left unchecked.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fair play or

    Musk may not want tariffis on Chinese cars for fear of retaliation. Not only does he want to sell to China, he probably sources from there too.

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