SHANGHAI -- Chinese automakers are hoping that the Shanghai auto show will ease the industry's price wars by generating customer excitement for new models.
Tesla began cutting prices in January in the world’s No. 1 market and domestic automakers were forced to respond. Tesla reduced the entry price of its Model 3 midsize sedan to 229,000 yuan ($33,400).
The effect has been to slow the market, according to the president of premium electric brand Nio, Lihong Qin.
“Retail volume was down 14 percent in the first quarter because a lot of consumers are waiting for a better deal,” he told journalists on the sidelines of the show. “We hope the Shanghai motor show will be important to stabilize this market.”
Nio is bracing for lower volumes in the first half as it tries to sit out the price war and promote the brand’s advantages, including its battery-swapping network.
“The price war has affected our volume guidance for this year,” CEO William Li said at the same event.
The price war will be a “short-term phenomenon,” BYD’s global head of PR, Brian Luo, predicted. “From April there will be a lot of auto shows in China which will allow customers to feel impact and influence of the new energy vehicle market,” he told Automotive News Europe at the show.
“This will help them develop a bigger picture of the market and realize what products they are interested in.”