January 09, 2023 13:27
Tesla has slashed the prices of its electric cars in Korea for the first time in two years because sales have been declining.
The price of the four-wheel-drive Model Y Long Range has been cut from W96.64 million to W84.99 million (US$1=W1,269). The Mode Y Performance's price fell from W104.73 million to W94.73 million, the standard rear-wheel-drive Model 3's by W6 million to W64.34 million and by the same amount for the four-wheel-drive version to W88.17 million.
Last year Tesla offered a discount for a limited period, but this is the first time since February 2021 that it cut the prices of new models.
Declining sales are the main reason. According to market tracker Carisyou, Tesla's sales in Korea fell 18.3 percent last year to 14,571 cars. The waiting period for a Tesla EV used to be more than a year, but now there is no waiting list for some models at all.
Tesla also slashed its price tags by 13.5 percent in China, which accounts for one-third of its total sales. The Chinese government scrapped subsidies for EVs with the start of this year, while rivals such as BYD are rolling out increasingly competitive cars, so Tesla's sales are expected to decline further.
Tesla's factory in Shanghai delivered only 55,796 EVs, down 44 percent from the previous month. The U.S. EV maker even halted production there from Dec. 24 until last Monday due to mounting inventory.
Meanwhile, another Tesla Model X caught fire in Seoul due to a battery-related abnormality known as "thermal runaway" last Saturday.
According to the driver, the car stopped in the middle of a road shortly after a warning sign and he had it towed to a service center in Seongsu-dong that is closed on weekends. Shortly after it arrived at the center it exploded.
About 65 firefighters and dozens of fire engines rushed to the scene but the blaze took nearly three hours to bring under control. Unlike conventional cars, the doors or hood of Teslas will not open once the power shuts off.
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