Teslaproudly touted the release of its Model 3 in Hong Kong. However, the tone-deaf timing of the roll-out stirred backlash. Why? Because Hong Kong has been roiled by protests since June 9.
Tesla’s official Twitter account breathlessly announced that the “Model 3 has landed in Hong Kong (who’s excited).” Included was a photo of a shiny red Tesla Model 3.
Model 3 has landed in Hong Kong (who’s excited)pic.twitter.com/rYLQmygZB8
– Tesla (@Tesla)September 5, 2019
Twitter fan: ‘I saw at least 2 Teslas every 5 minutes’ in HK
The response on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive.
One guy enthusiastically tweeted his congratulations. He added that he saw “at least two Teslas every 5 minutes” during a recent visit.
Huge Tesla market, congrats !!! I saw at least two Teslas every 5 minutes I was there.
– John Hanna (@ jjhanna2)September 5, 2019
One woman agreed. She observed that “there are so many Teslas in HK already.”
Yay! There are so many Teslas in Hk already, so this is insane. I remember back in 2015 a few of my ex’s friends had them in Hk, & my ex said it drove way better than the alternatives. He had a Ferrari, Porsche & Bmw FYI, but nothing compared to acceleration & feeling of Tesla.😊pic.twitter.com/OlC9HFJKy0
– oneyHoney Bear🐻 (@Insertnameplea)September 5, 2019
TwoElon Muskfans praised the South African billionaire for his “vision and leadership.”
Amazing. Elon is the Visionary
– Faizan (@faztag)September 5, 2019
Critic: ‘Curious PR timing’
However, others scolded Tesla for the unfortunate timing of the roll-out.
A nuclear scientist named Hans Kristensen remarked that the release of an affordable electric sedan is normally cause for celebration.
However, Kristensen says Hong Kong residents are probably more concerned right now about “Beijing’s heavy-handed suppression ofongoing protests. “
Curious PR timing. Normally I would think those that afford to buy it would be excited. But right now they probably have more pressing (!) Things to think about given Beijing’s heavy-handed suppression of ongoing protests.@ Tesla# HongKongProtests
– Hans Kristensen (@nukestrat)September 5,
Another quipped, “Ummm … They may have other priority.”
Ummm … They may have other priorities. Read the room dude. *****
– FAKErealityTV (@TRUMPdrinksPEEE)September 5,
Tesla was most popular EV in Hong Kong
The Tesla Model 3 “is the most highly anticipated car of the 21 st century, “according to a 2018 story that ran in theSouth China Morning Post(Hong Kong’s English-language newspaper).
When Elon Musk first announced the Model 3 in 2016, about 450, 000 people in Hong Kong reportedly placed a $ 1, 000 deposit to reserve one. Why? Because, according to the SCMP, it was considered “the most eagerly awaited car of all time.”
Hong Kong is a major market for electric cars, thanks to a policy aimed at reducing traffic congestion. For a while, Tesla wasthe mostpopular EV in Hong Kong. Its popularity was aided by a generous local government tax incentive.
While Tesla salesdwindled somewhatafter the tax break was capped, it still remains hugely popular in HK.