Tesla says it reaches resolution with Chinese Customs after clearance suspension of Model 3


Photo/Zhang Xiaoqing (NBD)

Mar.6 (NBD) – Tesla Inc has reached a consensus with Chinese customs authorities over the issue related to the suspension of the import clearance of its Model 3 vehicles, and has been working with the Chinese party to resume the clearance procedures to those vehicles. Sales of the Model 3 in China have not been affected and the U.S. car maker will continue delivering the vehicles that have been processed, stated Tesla's spokesperson, according to foreign media reports on Wednesday.

On Monday, a document that is possibly leaked from Chinese customs stipulated the clearance procedures of Tesla's Model 3 electric cars shall be suspended, and the vehicles which have been processed shall not be sold or used.

Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the issue to NBD. As of press time, Tesla China has yet made any comments on the issue.

It is noted that the suspension is due to the misprinted label on 1,600 Model 3 electric vehicles. A salesperson of Tesla said in an interview with NBD that it is a "tiny problem" which won't impact the delivery and customers can still order the Model 3 at present, but refused to specify the problem.

Recently, Tesla has attracted much public attention, from the death of a Model S driver and the large-scale price cuts to the clearance suspension of the Model 3.

Moreover, even customers who have received the Model 3 are not satisfied with the car. For example, Weibo CEO Wang Gaofei complained the sedan is too small, the charger of the Model 3 is incompatible with the Model S, and something is suspected to be wrong with the sensor of the new car.

In fact, U.S. consumers also grumbled that problems exist with the trim, paint, interior decoration, and in-vehicle infotainment system. American magazine Consumer Reports even stopped recommending the Model 3 electric sedans.

Media reports pointed out the on-schedule delivery of the Model 3 should be partly accredited to the fact that Tesla CEO Elon Musk decided to quit the beta test for direct mass production. As of press time, Tesla has not responded to the matter.

Consumers have been frequently making a fuss about Tesla models' high prices. Despite a decrease of 26,000-44,000 yuan (3,877.5-6,562.0 U.S. dollars) in the price range of the Model 3, the price in China is still much higher than that of the U.S.

As Tesla is building its Shanghai factory, consumers expect a price slump after the Model 3 is put into production domestically. But the above-mentioned salesperson disclosed to NBD the price will possibly go down because of the simplification in the vehicle configuration.

Facing a series of negative news, Tesla is trying to distract the public attention. According to news outlet Electrek, Tesla will launch new base Model 3 available with a shorter range and new interior options for 35,000 U.S. dollars, and the new version is expected to be delivered next month. 

However, in light of the current comments on the Model 3, whether the new base will be accepted by the market and consumers still remains a question.


Email: wenqiao@nbd.com.cn