Big miss for Auto Shanghai Show as Tesla may skip key event

  • Tesla offers four models in China but has been much slower compared to local rivals in rolling out new ones.
File photo: A Tesla electric vehicle drives past a crossing in Shanghai, China. (REUTERS)
File photo: A Tesla electric vehicle drives past a crossing in Shanghai, China.

Tesla will not occupy a booth at China's largest annual autoshow to be held next week in Shanghai, according to plans published by the event's organisers. The financial hub is set to host Auto Shanghai between April 18-27. It is Asia's largest auto show where brands from BYD to Volkswagen are expected to show off their latest models and technologies.

Tesla, which has a large electric vehicle factory in Shanghai, has attended the show in past years. In 2021, the company's stage at the auto show made headlines when an unhappy customer clambered atop a Tesla being displayed to protest its handling of her complaints about malfunctioning brakes.

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The incident led to fierce criticism of Tesla in state media and the company eventually issued a rare apology for not addressing customer complaints in a timely manner.

The auto show, which is held in Shanghai and Beijing on alternate years, was cancelled last year because of China's zero-COVID curbs.

Tesla and Auto Shanghai did not immediately respond to a request for comment when asked about the U.S. automaker's participation at the Shanghai auto show on Friday. Tesla had a large booth at the China International Consumer Products Expo in Hainan province this week.

The company offers four models in China but has been much slower compared to local rivals in rolling out new ones, putting it at a disadvantage, analysts say.

Reuters reported last month, citing sources, that Chief Executive Elon Musk is making plans to visit China in April and is seeking a meeting with China's Premier Li Qiang.

First Published Date: 14 Apr 2023, 15:29 PM IST
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