Elon Musk’s Tesla suffered a massive drop in China sales for October, selling 70 percent fewer vehicles in the country. At the same time, current customers in the U.S. and Canada face increased repair times for their vehicles.
Reuters reports that Tesla saw their Chinese sales sink by 70 percent last month in comparison to a year ago, according to the country’s passenger car association. Based on data from the China Passenger Car Association, data showed that Tesla only sold 211 cars in China, which is one of the world’s largest auto markets.
The electric carmaker, which imports all of the cars currently sold in China, claimed in October that tariff hikes on auto imports have dealt a huge blow to the company’s sales in the Chinese market. Beijing raised tariffs on imports of U.S. autos to 40 percent in July as a trade standoff between China and the U.S. worsens. Tesla has attempted to cut the price of their Model S and Model X cars in China in order to boost sales and make the cars “more affordable.”
Meanwhile, in the United States and Canada, Tesla owners are facing increased repair times for their vehicles. Over the course of the past year, Tesla has gone from “production hell” to “delivery logistics hell,” and now it’s customers are in the midst of “repair hell.” Tesla has reportedly opened in-house ‘Body Repair Centers’ in nine locations around the country in efforts to reduce the repair times of customers vehicles.
Tesla has previously come under fire for their long repair times, something which they previously blamed on third-party body shops, in turn, the body shops blamed Tesla for the long amount of time it took the company to send repair parts to them. One Tesla customer, Rex Gao, purchased his Model S in early 2017. The car needed repairs on its suspension following a minor collision, he was then forced to wait four months for repair parts to arrive from Tesla to his local body shop in Canada.
Gao stated: “I was so excited that I got the part. I ran into the body shop, but they said ‘Not yet. You cannot get your car repaired. There’s a car before yours.’” The body shop that Gao used only had one special lift for Tesla cars so could not work on multiple vehicles at once, and he could not bring his car to another body shop as they were not Tesla certified.
Earlier this month, Gao was informed by the body shop that they bad begun work on his car: “I said ‘That’s good news. When can we finish it?’ They said ‘We don’t know. We may need other body parts.’” Gao is also paying $1,300 in lease payments every month for the car, Tesla would not offer a courtesy car but did repay him for three and a half months of lease payments.
“If I knew that we would have to wait that long for repairs, I would never have bought a Tesla. You never know when you’re going to need repairs. When your repairs start, your nightmare starts. It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating, and I can’t sleep at night,” said Gao.
ICBC insurance stated there is a massive backlog for repairs on Teslas in the region of Vancouver, where Gao’s car is being repaired. “For this reason, we stay in regular communication with these shops about their ability to take further vehicles for repairs and we have been storing vehicles on our property to help when the shops reach capacity,” ICBC said in a statement.
“We completely understand our customers’ frustration when they experience delays in getting their Tesla vehicle repaired,” ICBC stated. “We’ve been exploring ways that we can help reduce wait times but the core issue is the availability of parts. When we receive a claim for a Tesla vehicle, we expedite the process when possible so these vehicles are estimated more quickly to determine whether they’re repairable.”