Elon Musk said that Tesla’s closest competitor is likely a Chinese company as they “work the hardest and the smartest.”
On Tesla’s earnings call on Wednesday, Musk said that Tesla’s recent price cuts were stimulating demand in China and that the company will continue to cut costs with an aim to grow through what Musk expects to be a recession this year.
When asked about Tesla’s competition, Musk noted that a Chinese automaker is likely to be the closest competitor.
We have a lot of respect for the car companies in China. They are the most competitive in the world. They work the hardest and they work the smartest … so lots of respect for the China car companies that we’re competing against. And so, if I were to guess … probably some company out of China is the most likely to be second to Tesla.
Although the business magnate did not specifically identify any Chinese companies, Tesla has had many challengers in the electric vehicle space in China, including start-ups like Xpeng, Li Auto and Nio.
NextShark previously reported that Chinese automaker BYD dethroned Tesla as the leader in global new electric vehicles (EVs).
The Warren Buffett-backed automaker is currently Tesla’s biggest rival in China, as it has sold a total of 1.8 million vehicles globally, while Tesla sold 1.31 million cars in 2022.
In China, Tesla’s Model Y is the second-bestselling electric sports utility vehicle after a BYD model in 2022, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
China, which has embraced EVs, is Tesla’s second-largest market, accounting for about two-thirds of all sales globally in 2022. The nation is also home to the company’s biggest plant.
“Our team is winning in China. And think [sic] we actually are able to attract the best talent in China. So hopefully that continues,” Musk added without explanation.