Shanghai auto show disappoints, Tesla may skip key event


Tesla will not occupy a booth at China’s largest annual auto show in Shanghai next week, according to plans unveiled by event organizers. The financial hub will host the Shanghai Auto Show from April 18-27. It’s Asia’s biggest auto show, with brands from BYD to Volkswagen showcasing their latest models and technologies.

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Updated on:
April 14, 2023 at 15:29 pm

FILE PHOTO: A Tesla electric car drives through an intersection in Shanghai, China.  (Reuters)
FILE PHOTO: A Tesla electric car drives through an intersection in Shanghai, China. (Reuters)

Tesla, which has a large electric vehicle factory in Shanghai, has participated in the show for the past few years. In 2021, the company’s stage at an auto show grabbed headlines when a disgruntled customer climbed onto the roof of a displayed Tesla to protest how it handled her complaint about failing brakes.

The incident sparked an onslaught of criticism of Tesla in state media, and the company eventually issued a rare apology for failing to resolve customer complaints in a timely manner.

The auto show, which alternates between Shanghai and Beijing every year, was canceled last year due to zero COVID containment in China.

Tesla and Auto Shanghai did not immediately respond to requests for comment when asked about the U.S. automaker’s participation in the Shanghai auto show on Friday. Tesla had a large booth at the China International Consumer Goods Fair in Hainan province this week.

The company offers four models in China, but has been much slower to introduce new models than its local rivals, putting it at a disadvantage, analysts said.

Reuters cited sources last month as saying Chief Executive Elon Musk planned to visit China in April and sought a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

First published date: April 14, 2023 at 15:29 PM CST

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