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Tesla Cybertruck to go on tour in China to burnish tech cred

Bloomberg • 2 min read
Tesla Cybertruck to go on tour in China to burnish tech cred
The Tesla Cybertruck. Photo: Bloomberg
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Tesla Inc. plans to showcase its futuristic looking Cybertruck during a promotional tour of China, as the automaker attempts to burnish its tech credentials and boost sales amid increased competition from the likes of BYD Co. 

While the stainless steel-bodied Cybertruck isn’t available in China, the tour will take in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xi’an and Chongqing, according to a company representative.

Tesla has also set up an online vote for where it should stop after the first leg of the tour. Voters are requested to fill in their personal details and nominate a nearby Tesla store, and will receive promotional calls for locally-built Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport utility vehicles. 

The automaker, which once dominated the world’s largest electric vehicle market, is making a push to retain its position as domestic manufacturers from BYD to Li Auto Inc. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. The Cybertruck tour, along with price cuts and refreshed designs are part of a campaign to build hype and win customers.  

Growth in China’s EV market is projected to slow for a second year in 2024 as the nation’s patchy recovery from the pandemic weighs on consumer sentiment. Shipments of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to dealers are projected to increase 25% to 11 million units this year, the China Passenger Car Association said this month. This compares to 36% growth in 2023 and 96% in 2022.

Tesla sold 1.81 million vehicles globally in 2023, with over half shipped from its Shanghai factory. While the Elon Musk-led company met its annual deliveries goal, BYD became the world’s top seller of battery-electric cars in the fourth quarter.

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