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File photo used for representational purpose. (REUTERS)
File photo used for representational purpose. (REUTERS)

Tesla China faces ire of existing customers for recent discounts: Reports

  • Tesla has slashed prices of locally-made Model 3 to make it eligible for subsidies in China. It plans to announce another big price cut for the vehicle.
  • Many of those who purchased the vehicle in the past - and at a higher price - are not too pleased with the discounts.

Customers who previously bought a Tesla vehicle in China are not too pleased with the recent spate of discounts offered by the company on its electric cars in the country and several have reportedly filed civil lawsuits to vent their frustration at having had to pay a higher price for their respective vehicles.

Tesla has slashed prices of its Model 3 electric car twice in recent weeks which has made the most-affordable vehicle in the company's lineup eligible for subsidies offered on such vehicles in China. Subsidies are one of the key driving factors that attract people here to go for greener cars and Tesla has been determined to make the most of it. As such, Model 3 received a 10% price cut on the base variant of the locally-made Model 3 in the past weeks. This led to the base price falling to 271,550 yuan, well under 300,000 yuan upper limit for cars eligible for subsidy.

With increased competition in the world's largest car market and world's largest EV market, Tesla is all set to further cut the price of Model 3 with Bloomberg reporting that an additional 20,000 yuan discount is in the offing.

While the spate of price cuts could be great news for prospective buyers looking to get their hands behind a Tesla wheel, it has left many existing customers unimpressed at having had to shell out far more for the same vehicle. Chinese media reports suggest that at least 10 such customers have filed civil lawsuits against Tesla China's sales operation. Some of them have reportedly said they were never informed that a price cut could happen when they were being sold their vehicles. Reports also have some of these customers saying that sales persons often put pressure on them to ink the deal in a rush.

While buying a car at a particular price and then seeing the same asking price fall significantly may come as disappointing news but several legal experts are of the opinion that Tesla is within its rights to slash prices as it sees fit and that such decisions are never conveyed to buyers before they are officially announced to the world. That said, the plaintiffs are unlikely to go down without a fight.

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