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In China, Tesla’s Cybertruck EV is attracting viewers and orders


Tesla’s Cybertruck electric vehicle (EV)which is not yet available in mainland China, caused a stir at an industrial fair in Shanghai as Chinese consumers remain keenly interested in the US automaker’s new products despite declining sales of its Model 3 and Model Y.

Dozens of visitors to the Carbon Neutrality Expo flocked to the event Tesla‘s booth on Thursday afternoon to check out the angular pickup, with some placing orders despite an expected wait of at least two years. In stark contrast, few visitors showed up at stands selling battery-powered cars BYD, Nio and Changan.

The furore surrounding the Cybertruck, which Tesla began delivering in the US in November, came after the company’s Gigafactory in Shanghai posted a 16.7-month month-over-month increase in deliveries in May.

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The factory, which builds the Model 3 and Model Y for domestic sales and exports to international markets, delivered 72,573 units last month, up from 62,167 in April, data from the China Passenger Car Association showed.

The Cybertruck is worth the long wait because the unique vehicle is a symbol of the future of mobility, said Tian Qingwen, a professor at North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, who ordered one.

“I was told it won’t be delivered until 2026 due to overwhelming demand from people around the world,” he said. “But it is a dream car that I will definitely buy and own.”

A Tesla sales representative confirmed that the company received a number of orders for the Cybertruck during the four-day carbon neutrality expo, which kicked off on Wednesday.

The EV, which has a base price of $60,990 in the US for the rear-wheel drive model, has yet to be delivered to mainland consumers, although the company has been taking orders in China since 2021.

“Tesla is the global pioneer in automotive electrification,” said Gao Shen, an independent analyst in Shanghai. “In addition to the Cybertruck, Chinese consumers also expect Elon Musk to test it FSD (Full Self-Driving) software for autonomous driving here.”

Reuters reported last week that Tesla was preparing to register FSD with Chinese authorities to pave the way for tests on the mainland.

A Tesla Cybertruck stands in front of a house in Silicon Valley in the US. Photo: DPA alt=A Tesla Cybertruck stands in front of a house in Silicon Valley in the US. Photo: DPA>

Tesla deliveries rose 37 percent last year to 603,664 in mainland China, making it the company’s second-largest market. In the US, the company’s largest market, sales rose by a quarter to 654,888 in 2023.

Tesla did not attend the Shanghai Auto Show last year and was absent from the Auto China Show in Beijing in April – the two biggest auto events in China – due to concerns about unfortunate incidents, people with knowledge of the matter said.

In April 2021, the company faced a response on social media from Chinese customers after a woman wearing a T-shirt with the words “brake failure” and a Tesla logo jumped on top of a Tesla on display at the Shanghai Auto Show. She wanted to draw attention to an accident involving her Model 3, which she blamed on the company.

Tesla later released a data log of the car to the owner, bowing to pressure from the market regulator.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Mail (SCMP), the most authoritative voice covering China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please visit the SCMP App or visit the SCMPs Facebook And Tweet Pages. Copyright © 2024 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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