Big discounts are great for buyers, unless you happened to have bought your car in the days before the price cuts were announced. That’s exactly what happened to some Tesla buyers in China, and hundreds of them converged on showrooms last weekend to protest the situation.
Reuters reports that around 200 Tesla owners who recently purchased either a Model 3 or Model Y descended on a Tesla delivery center in Shanghai to complain that they had overpaid for the their cars after the company cut its prices on Friday. The latest discounts were the second set of price reductions in three months, and aimed at boosting flagging Tesla sales after a comparatively slow December at dealerships.
“It may be a normal business practice but this is not how a responsible enterprise should behave,” one unhappy owner told Reuters. He claimed police helped broker a meeting between Tesla representatives and the angry owners who presented a list of demands that include an apology and financial compensation.
Angry Tesla drivers were also seen protesting in multiple dealer locations around China. Some were captured on video shouting: “Return the money, refund our cars.”
Related: Tesla Likely To Announce New Lower-Priced Model Y Soon
Protesters who bought Teslas stormed a Tesla store in China after price cuts demanding a refund of the price difference.
Do you think they have the right to be refunded the price difference? Or just those who have not received their cars yet? #Tesla $tsla pic.twitter.com/FzQk3xw263
— Anas Alhajji (@anasalhajji) January 8, 2023
But it sounds like the protests, while embarrassing for Tesla, won’t produce the kind of outcome the disgruntled owners are looking for. A spokesman for Tesla China told Reuters the company has no plans to compensate buyers who purchased cars before the most recent price cuts were announced.
China is a huge market for Tesla, accounting for around one third of the company’s global sales, and the country is also home to Tesla’s Shanghai factory, the most profitable of the firm’s plants around the world. But competition from Chinese automakers is strong, and growing stronger by the day with the release of aggressively priced, tech-laden and increasingly good-looking local cars ready to steal Tesla’s sales.
No one likes to hear that something they’ve just bought is now available for less, but we imagine these angry owners were quite happy to think they’d got a good deal at the time of their purchase – and possibly a little bit smug that they come out better than the owners who’d purchased cars in the weeks and months before that. Do you think Tesla should compensate these buyers? Leave a comment and let us know.