Elon Musk with a Tesla Model YElon Musk with a Tesla Model Y


Chinese brands will ‘demolish’ other carmakers without trade barriers imposed – Musk

  • Tesla boss becomes latest to issue concerns about Chinese competition
  • Chinese manufacturers ‘are the most competitive car companies in the world’
  • Musk calls for trade barriers to be imposed
  • Warning follows launch of EC probe last year

Time 9:17 am, January 30, 2024

Trade barriers need to be introduced on Chinese carmakers otherwise they will ‘demolish most other car companies’, Tesla boss Elon Musk has said.

He made the comments during Tesla’s fourth-quarter and full-year financial results call, adding: ‘Our observations are that Chinese car companies are the most competitive car companies in the world, so I think they will have significant success outside of China depending on what kind of tariffs or trade barriers are established.

‘Frankly, I think that if there are no trade barriers established they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world.

‘They’re extremely good.’

Chinese carmakers are flooding markets all around the world with EVs featuring long ranges and cheaper price tags.

Traditional car manufacturers are pushing ahead with a new range of electric cars designed to make up lost ground.

Firms such as BYD have started to gain a foothold in the UK, alongside brands such as GWM Ora.

Two new brands – Seres and Skywell – have recently been confirmed as new additions to the UK’s automotive scene, while Chinese car giant Geely owns more household names such as Volvo, Lotus and Polestar.

Musk added that Tesla didn’t see an ‘obvious opportunity’ in which to partner with Chinese car brands but added that the Californian firm was happy to give ‘any car company’ access to Tesla’s widespread Supercharger network.

He also stated that he was ‘happy to give licence for full self-driving and perhaps other technologies which could be helpful in advancing the sustainable energy revolution’.

In September 2023, the European Commission launched an anti-subsidy probe into the imports of electric cars from China.

It is investigating whether to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese EVs to protect EU carmakers.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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