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In Depth: Tesla powers on as rival EV makers scramble to compete in China

US company's dominance makes local producers nervous as subsidies wind down

Prospective car buyers gather around a Tesla Model Y at a showroom in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing.

On New Year's Day, Tesla lobbed a bomb into China's electric vehicle market with the sudden announcement that it was dropping the price of its new Shanghai-made Model Y cars by 30%. The new starting price of 339,900 yuan ($52,550) was around 100,000 yuan less than the presale price announced in August.

Showrooms were swamped, and local competitors were unnerved. News two weeks later that the company was seeking a design director to make cars specifically tailored for Chinese consumers, first reported by Reuters, further ruffled feathers.

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