Following the news that Tesla car demand picked up in Japan after aggressive price cut, an analyst has told just-auto that Japanese OEMs need to take note of Tesla's actions and rely less on hybrids.
Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData, said the uptick in the domestic market for the mid-range electric sedan Tesla Model 3, the company's most affordable EV, is a result of significant price cut of 24% announced last month.
"The development signifies the importance of pricing strategy for EV transition and customers' affinity towards cheaper products," Bakar says.
"Japan is a strong market for hybrid vehicles with sales soaring nearly a million per year. On the other side, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) sum up to volume of approximately 21,000 units of the total 5.2 million automotive market annually i.e., less than 1%," he notes.
Bakar maintains that the slow pick up of BEVs can largely be attributed to the unavailability of attractive offerings from the OEMs in the Japanese market.
"Nissan's Leaf is the only popular and successful BEV available for the mass market in Japan. Tesla caters the premium segment with sales of nearly 2,000 units annually," Bakar notes.
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Bakar adds: "Tesla Model 3, with the latest price cut, now stands better positioned than other competitors in terms of pricing. Major OEMs should look forward to reviving their position in the electric mobility by bringing in new BEVs for the mass market and offering a better mix of both BEVs and HEVs. While OEMs such as Honda, Mazda and Nissan are already market ready with new BEV products in the year and falling, others are yet to follow. The new launches will also support government's targets to ban sales of gasoline-only vehicles by the mid-2030s."