Tesla vehicle orders in China dropped by nearly half in May compared to April, as the U.S electric carmaker is dealing with public criticism and authorities’ investigation over car quality following some high-profile vehicles crashes, the Information reported on Thursday, citing internal data.
Detail: In May, the company’s monthly net orders fell by nearly half to 9,800 from more than 18,000 in April, the report noted.
According to statistic from China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), Tesla sold 11,671 vehicles that include model 3 and model Y in April, sharply dropped from 35,478 in March.
The sharp drop reflected a dramatic change in Chinese consumers’ attitude toward Tesla after series issues related to qualities of China-made Tesla model 3.
On April 17, a Tesla model 3 lost control and spontaneously accelerated at an extremely high speed and ignited after crashed on the bridge in Zengcheng district, Guangzhong, causing a death of the driver.
In May, a Tesla rear-ended a truck at a high speed of 158 kilometers per hour in Shaoguan of China’s Guangdong province, leading to the immediate death of the driver.
The cause of the accident still remains unknown, but it has triggered new waves of concern over whether Tesla vehicle involves technical issues including brake failure risks.
At the shanghai auto show, a former Tesla owner protested in Tesla’s booth by climbing on top of a model 3 and loudly yelling that the company’s vehicle have deadly brake issues.
In order to mitigate the concern, Tesla China promptly went on public relation campaigns, issuing statements, setting up a special investigation team, and release data that debunked the protester’s claims.
Context: Tesla begun manufacturing its first made-in-China car- Model 3 series in October 2019, then it started delivering the vehicles to Chinese customers in December,2019. The made-in-China vehicle were more than 10% cheaper for Chinese consumer than it was imported from the U.S.
In December, Tesla obtains green light to sell model Y SUV in China, then order surged in January 2021 after the release of model Y.