Tesla clashes with China e-commerce site for selling Model 3 at cheaper price

Tesla Inc. has found itself entangled in an escalating dispute with Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo Inc., which ran a promotion for Model 3 sedans that the US carmaker says broke its policies.

Once Tesla became aware of the campaign, it denied any form of cooperation with either Pinduoduo or YiAuto. (REUTERS)
Once Tesla became aware of the campaign, it denied any form of cooperation with either Pinduoduo or YiAuto.

At the center of the stoush, which surfaced last month, is Tesla’s direct-sales model. Unlike most carmakers that sell via franchised dealerships, Tesla has its own network of showrooms where customers can view a vehicle before placing an order online. Customers can also just go direct to the official online channel, which comes with a price-match guarantee.

In this instance, a customer in Wuhan saw an offer for a Tesla Model 3 on Pinduoduo via YiAuto. YiAuto, a car retailer based in the southeastern province of Fujian, had advertised the sedan for 251,800 yuan ($36,320), around 7% cheaper than the official post-subsidy price set by Tesla.

Also check these Vehicles

Find more Cars
Tesla Model 3 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 70 - 90 Lakhs* *Expected Price
View Details
Tesla Model S (HT Auto photo)
₹70 Lakhs - 1 Cr* *Expected Price
View Details
Byd Atto 3 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 33.90 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Bmw 3 Series (HT Auto photo)
₹ 42.30 - 62.90 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Bmw 3 Series Gran Limousine (HT Auto photo)
₹ 57.90 - 59.50 Lakhs* *Ex-showroom price
Add to compare
Check latest offers
Hero Electric Ae-3 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 1.50 Lakhs *Expected Price
View Details

Once Tesla became aware of the campaign, it denied any form of cooperation with either Pinduoduo or YiAuto. YiAuto went ahead with its promotion regardless, and the man in Wuhan paid for the car. His order was ultimately placed direct on Tesla’s website, using his personal details.

Tesla, helmed by Elon Musk, now the world’s fourth-richest person, has labeled the transaction a resale, meaning the Wuhan customer won’t be entitled to the usual rights enjoyed by clients who purchase a Tesla from official channels. In addition, Tesla said on Tuesday it would support the customer if he wants to “safeguard his legitimate rights" from the promotion organiser.

Pinduoduo said it was “disappointed that Tesla has made it difficult for some of fans to get their dream car." “We appreciate the trust that our users put in our platform and will do everything we can do protect their rights," it said.

Representatives from YiAuto couldn’t immediately be reached.

Tesla is willing to “compensate for the customer’s loss of time and effort spent on this," a Beijing-based representative said, adding the man was more than welcome to re-place his order via official channels should he wish.

First Published Date: 18 Aug 2020, 11:20 AM IST
Shopping Bag Shop Now
74% OFF
IDELLA Car Duster, Extendable Long Handle Microfiber Car Duster Exterior Scratch Free Car Cleaning Tool, Car Dust Brush for Truck, Pickup, SUV, RV, Motorcycle, Vehicles Cleaning,(Multicolor)
Rs. 238 Rs. 899
55% OFF
Antson Portable High Power 2 in 1 Car Vacuum Cleaner | USB Rechargeable Wireless Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner Traveling, Camping Reusable and Sustainable, Portable,Rechargeable Vacuum (2 in 1)
Rs. 899 Rs. 1,999
74% OFF
Microfiber Car Cleaning Soft Brush Ideal as Mop Duster, Washing Brush with Long Handle, Dust Cleaner Car Wash Brush with Handle, Soft Brush Scratch Free, Cleaning Dashboard Curved Design - Grey
Rs. 389 Rs. 1,499
1% OFF
GOODAIR Clear Car Windshield Enhancer | Classic |12 Tablets
Rs. 295 Rs. 299

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
Powered by: Acko Logo
Please be noted that any information provided herein above will be received by Acko General Insurance Limited (“Acko”). By mentioning the above information, you agree to provide these details and information to Acko.
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.