Chinese Automakers Could Outperform Global Rivals, Says Elon Musk
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, warned on the 24th (local time) that Chinese automakers would topple most of the other car companies in the world if there were no trade barriers.
According to Reuters and other sources, Musk said in a conference call that day, “Chinese auto companies have emerged as the most competitive.”
He admired Chinese companies, noting their competence and predicting their significant success abroad, depending on the nature of tariffs and trade barriers that might be implemented.
Musk’s remarks came as China’s BYD overtook Tesla to become the world’s number one in electric car sales in the fourth quarter of last year.
On the other hand, Tesla announced fourth-quarter results that fell short of market expectations in a report that day. Tesla reported revenues of $25.167 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of $0.71 in the fourth quarter of last year. The automotive division’s sales were $21.563 billion, a mere 1% growth compared to the same period of the previous year.
Tesla also stated this year’s outlook, “The growth rate of car sales may be noticeably lower than last year because we are working on launching the next-generation automobiles at the Texas Gigafactory.”
Musk stated they are at the forefront of developing next-generation low-cost vehicles, expressing excitement about these new products. He highlighted that these advancements would bring substantial changes not only to the vehicles’ designs but also to the designs of their production systems.
Musk expressed dissatisfaction with the low sales of Tesla in Japan, the world’s third-largest auto market. He said, “We should at least have a market share proportional to other foreign auto companies like Mercedes or BMW.”