Beijing grants Tesla exemption from auto tax

Beijing grants Tesla exemption from auto tax

Tesla has secured an exemption from automobile taxes for its electric vehicles sold in China, a waiver granted by Beijing just days after the company’s chief executive Elon Musk visited the country.

A total of 16 variants of the California automaker’s Model S, X and 3 vehicles were included on a list of “new energy” vehicles — a classification that includes electric vehicles and some hybrids — exempt from the 10 per cent purchase tax, according to a joint statement by China’s ministry of industry and information technology and the national tax bureau on Friday.

Tesla shares Rose 4 per cent to $230.65 in pre-market trade. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other international automakers including Mercedes, General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota and Hyundai also had models included on the list, alongside domestic automakers like BYD.

The announcement follows Mr Musk’s visit to Shanghai this week for the World AI Conference.

The exemption comes amid reports that Tesla was forced to raise prices in China ahead of tariffs on imported US cars. Beijing said last week that it will resume auto tariffs on cars imported from the US beginning in December after trade talks between Washington and Beijing broke down.

At the time, Mr Trump called for American companies to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China”. While hopes for a resolution have resurfaced since then Mr Trump on Friday chastised GM for moving major plants to China.

“General Motors, which was once the Giant of Detroit, is now one of the smallest auto manufacturers there. They moved major plants to China, BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE. This was done despite the saving help given them by the USA. Now they should start moving back to America again?” he wrote on Twitter.

Tariffs imposed by the US on China have hurt Tesla sales in the country, and the company hopes to minimise the impact of those levies by manufacturing its cars in China. Mr Musk has said Tesla plans to begin production of the company’s mass-market Model 3 in China by the end of this year.

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