Home Tech Elon Musk cannot solve the Tesla crisis in China with his desperate visit to Asia

Elon Musk cannot solve the Tesla crisis in China with his desperate visit to Asia

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Elon Musk cannot solve the Tesla crisis in China with his desperate visit to Asia

Elon Musk will do it I’m pleased that his surprise trip to China on Sunday generated many enthusiastic headlines. No doubt, the trip was equally a surprise for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had planned to offer Musk the red carpet in a long-arranged visit.

The billionaire devastated India In the last minute, citing “Tesla’s very heavy obligations.” Indeed, Tesla has had a tumultuous couple of weeks, with attacks from federal regulators, halving profits, and launching price cuts; However, in a very public snub that Modi will not quickly forget, the company CEO made time for the Chinese prime minister. Li Qiang.

And well, Musk could do it. Tesla needs China more than China needs Tesla. After the United States, China is Tesla’s second largest market.

However, what is disturbing is that in the first quarter of the year Tesla’s sales in China fell 4 percent in a national electric vehicle market that has expanded by more than 15 percent. That’s enough success for any CEO to jump in a Gulfstream and fly across the Pacific for a impromptu meeting with a Chinese prime minister.

Globally, Tesla has lost almost one third of its value Since January and earlier this month, Tesla’s global vehicle deliveries in the first quarter fell for the first time in almost four years. As they often do, Tesla investors continue to complain about the company’s repeated delays in launching cars with genuine driverless capabilities.

One of Tesla’s interim technologies, an add-on now heavily discounted to $8,000, is marketed as full self-driving, or FSD. But, like the similarly confusingly named Autopilot feature, this still requires the driver’s attention and can still be risky.

Among the deals said to have been unveiled in Sunday’s meeting with Li Qiang was a partnership giving Tesla access to a mapping license for the company’s data collection on public roads in China. Baidu web search.

This was a “watershed moment,” said Dan Ives, senior analyst at Wedbush Securities, in an interview with Bloomberg Television. However, Tesla has been using Baidu for maps and in-car navigation in China since 2020. The revised deal, in which Baidu will now also provide Tesla with its lane-level navigation system, removes one more regulatory hurdle for Tesla’s FSD. Tesla in China. It does not allow Tesla to introduce self-driving cars in China or anywhere else, as some media outlets have reported.

Media reports have also claimed that Musk obtained permission to transfer data collected by Tesla cars in China outside of China. This is unlikely, said L Warren Capital CEO and head of research Junheng Li, who wrote in X: “[Baidu] owns all the data and shares leaked data with Tesla. Imagine if [Tesla] “You have access to real-time road data, such as who went to which country’s embassy, ​​at what time, and for how long.” That, he stressed, would be “super national security.”

According ReutersMusk is still seeking final approval for the launch of FSD software in China, and Tesla still needs permission to transfer data abroad.

Li added that the launch of even a “monitored” and data-poor version of FSD in China is “extremely unlikely.” He pointed out the challenges Tesla faces in supporting the local operation of the software. Tesla still “does not have [direct] access to mapping data in China as a foreign entity,” he wrote.

Instead, Tesla is likely using the Baidu deal extension as an alternative solution to FSD, with data collected in China largely remaining in China. Despite this, Tesla stocks have risen following the news of the expanded collaboration with Baidu.

Furthermore, Li said there is “no strategic value” for Beijing to favor the FSD when several more advanced Chinese alternatives exist. We tried them.

“Chinese electric vehicles are simply evolving at a much faster pace than Tesla,” agrees Shanghai-based automotive journalist and WIRED contributor Mark Andrews, who tested the driver-assist technology available on China’s roads. The US-listed trio says Tesla is testing.

Although dated in shape and lacking the latest technology, a Tesla car is more expensive in China than most of its rivals. Tesla recently reduced prices in China to stop the decline in sales.

Musk’s aerial visit to China smacked of “desperation,” says Mark Rainford, owner of the company. Inside China Auto channel. “[Tesla] Sales are down in China: competition has resisted price cuts so far and [the Tesla competitors have] a seemingly endless conveyor belt of beautiful and talented products.” Rainford further warns that Tesla’s “golden period in China” is “at great risk of collapsing.”

Tesla opened its first gigafactory in Shanghai Five years ago, and is now the company’s largest, but the automaker has been trying to catch up on technology in China for some time now. In addition to Xpeng, Nio and Li, there are other chinese car companies Tesla’s advance on autonomous driving, as Musk will see if he visits the Beijing Auto Show, which will be held until this week.

Beijing is now arguably the world’s biggest auto show, but Tesla isn’t exhibiting, a sign it has little new to offer famously technology-hungry Chinese car buyers. It should be noted that the Cybertruck is not legal to drive in China, although that hasn’t stopped Tesla from displaying the rust-prone electric pickup truck in some of its Chinese showrooms.

Likewise, Tesla just announced plans for a Cybertruck European Tour. But, like in China, the EV pickup truck also cannot be sold in the EU and, based on Tesla’s leadership in vehicle engineering, probably never will be.

Speaking of stricter pedestrian safety standards in the EU compared to the US, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle engineering, Lars Moravy, said top gear that “European regulations require an external radius of 3.2 mm on external projections. Unfortunately, it is impossible to make a 3.2mm radius in a 1.4mm stainless steel sheet.”

The “Cybertruck Odyssey” tour, as Tesla’s European X account calls it, may excite Tesla fans, but it could well prove to be as useful as shooting. a roadster to space.

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