(Yicai Global) May 24 -- A Tesla Inc. dealership in Shanghai sold its entire Model X 75D stock in a single day after trimming car prices more than a month before China reduces its vehicle import tariffs.
Sales consultants at the store worked overtime yesterday to sign more than 10 deals, state-backed news site The Paper reported. Tesla sells roughly 300 cars a day worldwide at more than 200 dealerships.
The California-based firm is among a string of overseas carmakers who announced price cuts after the Customs Tariff Commission under China's cabinet revealed that it would slash full-car import duty to a flat rate of 15 percent from 20 or 25 percent starting from July 1 this year. BMW AG, Audi AG and Volvo Group from Europe all pledged to reduce prices, alongside Japan's Toyota Motor Corp.
Tesla was first to follow through on its promise and informed its dealerships of the change the same day, allowing buyers to benefit from the lower price despite the new tariffs not yet taking effect. Workers at the Shanghai store started to contact their customer pipeline immediately, a salesperson told The Paper.
"The cars available were all imported from the States in April and May this year," the staffer added. ""After selling all of them, we'll replenish stock when the new tariffs come in. We were losing out on profit with the lowered price as the cars were imported at the old tariff rate -- the Model S 75D was CNY70,000 (USD11,000) cheaper."
The move comes as Tesla looks to regain ground in the world's largest auto market, home to the biggest new-energy vehicle sector on the planet, said Li Yanwei, a member of the China Automobile Dealers Association's committee of experts. The company's sales dropped 7 percent on the year over the first four months, and if it did not roll out the discount straight away, it risked losing out on a month and a half of sales, he added.
The new price is only available to people who haven't yet ordered their car, the Tesla worker added, saying those who already have won't be eligible for it.
Editor: James Boynton