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Future car Daily “(micro-channel public number ID: auto-time), Author: Qin Zhang Yong.
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Author | Qin Zhangyong
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The high-spirited Tesla has been on the road to localization, but in the eyes of many consumers, the play of Tesla’s entry into China has not developed in accordance with the established script.
Unpredictable price adjustments, sudden new products, and “core-changing doors” caused by the rush to deliver … Each one makes Tesla’s brand image more gray, which also makes Tesla frequently caught in the car owners’ rights defense.Many car owners mocked themselves with “leeks” and ran to Tesla’s Weibo to protest, and even spared no effort to protect their rights and interests.
Some people say that Tesla is too scum-boy, charming and dangerous, and irresponsible, which is very different from Tesla’s image when it first entered the Chinese market.
At that time, Tesla was more like a “ticket” to enter a specific circle.In April 2014, during the handover ceremony of the first batch of Tesla owners in China, 15 Chinese users who obtained Model S through official channels, there were many industry leaders like Cao Guowei, Li Xiang, and Yu Yongfu.Zheng Gang, the founding managing partner of Zihui Investment, even bought four Model S models with a price of 1.07 million at a stretch. He believed that this car would bring him “additional value.”
With the positioning of low-end Model 3 capacity growth and price dip, especially since the localization, Tesla’s car owner group has also begun to “sink” and grow, but the ensuing, but it is countless questions and even infamy.
When “scum man” raised “scythe”
When learning that the domestic Model 3 long-range rear-wheel-drive version was scheduled to open, Zhou Jia was “exploded” on the spot.
In January 2020, Zhou Jia, who lives in Tianjin, paid a deposit of 20,000 yuan for Tesla’s domestically produced standard battery life Model 3.But on February 13, the new version of Tesla’s Model 3 was prominently listed in the new vehicle products of the “Road Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Enterprises and Products Announcement” (batch # 329) released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Zhou Jia asked Tesla sales staff on this matter whether there will be a long-life version of the Model 3. The other party made it clear that the new car released in April is just a rumor that the long-life battery will not be listed before the year.
Screenshot of the conversation between Zhou Jia and Tesla sales personnel Source: Photo courtesy of the interviewee
Zhou Jia had no doubt about this, she told the Future Auto Daily (ID: auto-time) that under the “continuous coaxing” of Tesla sales staff, the payment process for the final payment was completed on March 18, March 19,Zhou Jia officially got the Model 3, a domestic standard endurance version.
The result was less than a month. On April 10, Tesla officially announced that the domestic version of the Model 3 long-endurance rear-wheel drive version was officially open for booking. Its cruising range reached 668 kilometers, and the price was only 40,000 yuan more expensive than the standard version.”Tesla deliberately conceals and deprives consumers of the right to know.” Zhou Jia told the Future Auto Daily that this deliberately concealing the listing of its long-life version and inducing consumers to purchase the standard version is a naked “cutting leek” behavior..
There are many Tesla owners who have the same experience as Zhou Jia. On April 10th, Tesla announced that the long-life version of Model 3 will open the scheduled Weibo. The highest praised comment is still “old car owners are not as good as dogs.”.
Source: Tesla Weibo
“The car I mentioned in March was happy for a month. It is too difficult to defend rights. Now it automatically shields Tesla’s information and saves bothers.” Liu Ming, who has suffered the same as Zhou Jia, believes that the price is not the key.The main Tesla used the unequal news to induce him to buy the standard version of the model, which made him angry.
In addition to the unexpected new version, the erratic price also keeps Tesla owners and potential purchasers awake.
Starting in the second half of 2018, Tesla repeatedly adjusted prices seven times in 14 months, which aroused strong dissatisfaction of old car owners.More than once in Tesla stores, old car owners appeared to defend their rights.This is why on May 14th, when Tesla announced that the long-life version of the Model 3 will remain at its current price after the transition period, many netizens chose to do “wait for the party”, thinking that “long-term battery will definitely drop.”, And issued a “forward harvest warning”.
Not only the Model 3, which now occupies the bulk of the sales, but also the owners of other Tesla models have a bitter stomach.
Before buying the Tesla Model X, Zhuhai owner Li Bo had already done enough homework on the Tesla brand.In his view, Tesla’s workmanship is not as understandable as the German brand, but in the six months after the purchase, the car and computer crashed frequently. “There are about three or four times a week, and other minor problems continue.” This yearIn February, there was a charging dilemma. No matter whether it was overcharged or home charger, it could not be charged. “There is no electricity at all, and the car can’t move.” Li Bo had to send it to the Panyu Tesla Center in Guangzhou for repair.More importantly, when driving to 17,000 kilometers, the front wheel tires were abnormally worn. “All the inner bladders were worn out and the tires had to be changed.”
Source of the broken front tires of Li Bo: Photo courtesy of the interviewees
Li Bo, who drove a car for ten years, had three cars at home. It was the first time he had to change tires after driving only 17,000 kilometers.Li Bo believes that Tesla needs to come forward to solve this problem and bear the cost of replacing the front tires.In the case of repeated communication with Tesla sales staff, the other party has been blaming each other, thinking that the body is too heavy or driving habits.
In desperation, Li Bo, anxious to use the car, could only spend 4,000 yuan to replace two front tires.”It feels that Tesla is unreliable.” Li Bo said that maybe Tesla’s brand will never be considered in the future.
Highlight moments of “advanced toys”
In stark contrast to the online “swear”, Tesla’s sales are rising.
According to data from the Federation, Tesla sold more than 17,000 vehicles in the Chinese market in the first quarter.In comparison, Weilai, Xiaopeng, and Weimar delivered 3838 units, 2331 units, and 4085 units, respectively. Ideal cars also had 2989 registered data in the first quarter. These four newly-built cars are not as powerful as Tesla.
Although Tesla does not have advertising endorsements and public relations, it will never lack traffic.In April 2014, Tesla took the Model S to knock on the door of the Chinese market. The cool shape and avant-garde human-computer interaction system attracted many industry tycoons for its platform.The selling price of the top matching version of more than one million has also made it a “toy” that Chinese “local tyrants” and elites compete for with each other.
Model S Source: Tesla’s official website
At that time, Tesla became synonymous with high-end electric vehicles, and many people regarded it as the future of the automotive industry. Tesla ’s Chinese apprentices such as Li Bin, He Xiaopeng, and Li Xiang even came to the end in person.
Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun has summarized this. One person bought Tesla, which will become a fashion topic in a circle; when many people buy Tesla, this has become the standard configuration in the circle.So that in that circle, there are only two cars left: one is Tesla, the other is the other.
At the end of 2014, the Beijing Tesla Owners Club was established in the Tesla showroom of the Fangcao Shopping Center. At that time, Zhu Xiaotong, the president of Tesla China and the global vice president, attended. More than 70 car owners were present, including investors and technology entrepreneurs.And entrepreneurs are almost all creators of technology and wealth.
With the expansion of Tesla’s product line, Model 3, which is responsible for the amount of traffic, instantly became popular, and Tesla’s car owner users began to expand.In fact, even if the price goes down, a Tesla logo can still give people a sense of satisfaction that other brands can’t give.
As a serial entrepreneur, Wang Lin in Beijing is one of the earliest owners of Model X in China. In 2016, he officially got the Model X car key.Even after four years of driving, Wang Lin is still a big fan of Tesla.”The biggest feature of this car is that the turn-back rate is particularly high.” Wang Lin told the Future Auto Daily (ID: auto-time) that more than one million bought a Mercedes-Benz S-class, and no one paid attention to it on the road, but opened this car.A car laps down the road to attract a lot of people, “this is something other brands of cars can’t give.”
Model X Source: Tesla’s official website
Wang Lin said that in the four years of driving the Model X, except for the slow response of the car system, everything else is normal, and the battery has not been significantly attenuated.”Tesla’s brand power and product power still have a great advantage. Although there are 3 cars at home, the most commonly driven is Model X.” After Model Y was domestically produced, Wang Lin also planned to get one.
Regarding Tesla ’s current crisis of public opinion, Wang Lin believes that it is completely in a state of control, and it does not affect Tesla ’s product power and technical content. “This is completely incomparable to other car companies.”
Who can laugh at the end of the game between the owner and Tesla?
On the one hand, there is a constant upheaval in rights protection, and on the other hand, the pursuit of brand power going forward, buying Tesla is like entering a “Wall Street Casino.”In this game of owners and Tesla, it is not time to judge who is the final winner.
At the beginning of 2020, Song Gang, the manufacturing director of Tesla ’s Shanghai plant, revealed that the localization rate of Tesla ’s Shanghai plant was about 30% at the time. It is planned to increase to 70% by July this year. At the end of the year, the domestic Model 3 will achieve 100% partsLocalization, which means that the price of Tesla Model 3 still has room to probe.
According to CITIC Research’s analysis, if the price of Tesla’s vehicle without subsidies remains unchanged, after full localization, the gross profit margin of all models of Model 3 will be above 40%, of which the gross profit margin of the basic version of the model can reach42.6%. If the gross profit rate is fixed at 25%, there will be room for price reduction of more than 70,000 yuan based on the current price of Model 3 models.
Model 3 Source: Tesla Weibo
“Now Tesla is no longer facing the so-called high-end consumer group.” An automotive industry analyst told the Future Auto Daily that less than 300,000 Model 3, many families can afford this priceOf consumer groups are more sensitive to price and pay more attention to cost performance. “More importantly, frequent price adjustments are at the expense of the interests of old car owners, which will reduce consumers’ loyalty to Tesla.”
Tesla’s frequent price adjustments have spawned a large number of “waiting parties”, which is directly reflected in April sales.According to data from the Federation, sales of domestically produced Tesla Model 3 in April were 3,635 units, down 64.2% from the previous month.Some analysts said that Tesla’s unstable price system disrupted consumers ‘purchase plans and blocked consumers’ purchase enthusiasm to some extent.
More than Tesla, as early as July last year, Xiaopeng G3 encountered the same problem when it launched a new model.The new G3 with a battery life of 520km will be sold for RMB 159,800, and the new car has also been upgraded with software and hardware and chassis optimization.How good the advertising of the new G3 is, and how heavy it hits the old car owners, because the old G3 has a battery life of only 365km, the difference between the two is 150km, which also caused a large number of car owners to defend their rightsPeng Auto launched two compensation schemes.
In fact, such price adjustments “do not constitute fraud” from a legal point of view.An industry lawyer told the Future Auto Daily that price adjustments are businesses’ independent business operations and have not violated relevant laws and regulations.It is not consumer fraud if information about the new car’s performance, pricing, etc. is not disclosed to consumers.
But for Tesla, it is also necessary to put a question mark on the degree of word of mouth that can be accepted.
As the market changes further and consumers become more rational, the mysterious aura of Tesla when it first entered China is gradually disappearing, and now it is no longer facing the original rivers and lakes.
Especially when the overseas market is sluggish under the epidemic, and the Chinese market is beginning to recover, if Tesla does not show the enthusiasm for treating Chinese consumers wholeheartedly, the “leeks” will eventually be cut.
(Zhou Jia, Liu Ming, Li Bo, Wang Lin are pseudonyms)
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