Hold my beer: “BYD could make a Tesla as soon as consumer demand for electric cars really takes off,” according to founder and chairman Wang Chuanfu at a recent shareholder meeting. But he has also called the Model S a “rich man’s toy.” Welcome to the toy business, Mr. Chuanfu. Actually, BYD investor Warren Buffett already does have a tentacle in the toy business.
Tesla no Apple: At the annual Boao Forum for Asia, a reporter for the South China Morning Post asked baiting questions about whether Tesla is the apple of the auto industry. “Impossible,” said Xu Heyi, chairman of Beijing Automotive Industry Holding.
EVs immature: Zhu Fushou of Dongfeng Motor Group says the fledgling EV market is too small for anyone to really flourish. Dongfeng just released its first pure EV in China. What’s holding the segment back? The Post reporter paraphrased Zhu as saying electric vehicles “still require more technological breakthroughs in terms of battery costs and safety features.”
So putting this all together, Chinese EV producers say, “Tesla is not particularly innovative, sells an underdeveloped product in a tiny segment — and is easily copied if we’re, like, totally wrong about the ‘not particularly innovative’ part, the ‘underdeveloped product’ part, and the ‘tiny segment’ part.”