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Updated January 25th, 2024 at 15:23 IST

Elon Musk warns of Chinese automakers' global dominance, underscoring Tesla's challenges

Musk recognised the competitive advantage of Chinese automakers and said they may have a big impact on the global auto industry.

Business Desk
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Elon Musk | Image:X
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Musk warns of China: Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed concerns about the potential global dominance of Chinese automakers, stating that they could "demolish" international competitors in the absence of trade barriers. Musk's remarks followed BYD's recent ascent, backed by Warren Buffett, surpassing Tesla as the world's top-selling electric vehicle (EV) company in the last quarter.

Highlighting the competitive edge of Chinese car companies, Musk acknowledged their prowess, stating they are "extremely good" and could achieve significant success worldwide, contingent on trade barriers. The comments were made during a post-earnings call with analysts.

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BYD's rise to the top spot in global EV sales last quarter, despite Tesla's price cuts, underscores the intensifying competition in the electric vehicle market. Musk, recognising the challenges, warned of reaching "the natural limit of cost reduction" with Tesla's existing lineup.

In response to Musk's comments, the Chinese foreign ministry emphasised the need for a "fair, just, and open business environment." Meanwhile, Tesla is gearing up for increased competition, planning to produce a more affordable compact crossover, codenamed "Redwood," by mid-2025.

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Stable supply chain

Chinese EV manufacturers are swiftly expanding globally, leveraging a stable supply chain and state subsidies that boost domestic sales. However, their brand awareness and reliability in the US market remain a challenge.

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Musk's remarks align with the broader geopolitical context, with President Joe Biden expressing concerns about China's determination to dominate the EV market. The potential impact of trade policies and tariffs, along with the evolving landscape of partnerships and access to technologies, adds complexity to the competitive dynamics in the global EV industry.

As the race for dominance unfolds, the strategies adopted by key players, including Tesla and Chinese automakers, will shape the future landscape of the electric vehicle market.

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(with Reuters inputs)

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Published January 25th, 2024 at 15:23 IST

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