Elon Musk says Chinese EV makers will ‘pretty much demolish’ most competitors without trade barriers



Elon Musk has acknowledged the formidable competition posed by Chinese electric automakers, expressing belief in their potential for “significant” success on a global scale. Despite facing intense competition from these Chinese companies, Musk emphasized their competitiveness, stating that they are likely to excel outside of China, especially if there are no trade barriers in place. Musk went on to praise Chinese car manufacturers, asserting that they could potentially outperform most other companies worldwide.

However, Musk acknowledged that the success of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers abroad could be influenced by factors such as tariffs and trade barriers. The European Commission is currently investigating subsidies provided to Chinese EV makers, and there is a possibility that the European Union could impose higher tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles as they aggressively expand into the European market. Notably, companies like BYD, which surpassed Tesla in fourth-quarter sales of battery-powered cars, and other Chinese startups like Nio and Xpeng, have already entered markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

Elon Musk’s positive sentiments toward Chinese EV manufacturers are not new, as he had previously referred to them as “the most competitive in the world” and suggested that a Chinese company could be the second most likely to follow Tesla in the global automotive industry. Tesla’s own shares experienced a decline in pre-market trading following the company’s recent earnings report, which fell short of expectations and included a caution about a potential slowdown in 2024.

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