May 30, 2024


A view shows the private jet of Tesla CEO Elon Musk taxiing on the runway, at the airport in Beijing, China, April 28, 2024.

A view shows the private jet of Tesla CEO Elon Musk taxiing on the runway, at the airport in Beijing, China, April 28, 2024.
Photo: Reuters TV (Reuters)

A week after Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed back a trip to India because of “heavy” duties for his electric car company, he touched down in China for an unannounced visit.

The purpose of dropping in? Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software, according to Reuters, which first reported the visit. Musk is set to talk to officials about deploying the technology in China, Tesla’s second-largest market.

On X, the social media platform Musk owns, he confirmed the visit and said he met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. He wrote, “We have known each other now for many years, since early Shanghai days.” Shanghai is where Tesla opened its first gigafactory outside of the U.S., with operations beginning in 2019.

In addition to discussing Tesla’s FSD software, Musk is also reportedly looking to make agreements on sharing data that’s collected in the country, with the goal being to use that information to improve its self-driving software.

Musk’s visit comes as China’s homegrown EVs are dominating

China may be Tesla’s second-largest market outside of the U.S., but that doesn’t mean it’s dominating there.

Tesla rival BYD sold 626,263 new-energy vehicles — a category that includes both plug-in EVs and battery EVs — in March, up 13% from a year prior. BYD said sales climbed 46% after falling in January and February.

Meanwhile, Tesla delivered 386,810 electric vehicles over the first three months of 2024. That fell wildly short of Wall Street’s expectations and sent Tesla stock tumbling, capping off a rough quarter already marked by controversy and heightened competition abroad.

Will Gavin contributed to this article.





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