Tesla will again offer a limited number of TeslaMic in China starting at 8 pm Beijing time on March 1, saying its capacity has failed to meet expectations due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Sales of the TeslaMic are a good reference to know which features are popular with Chinese electric vehicle (EV) owners.
Tesla announced on January 28 the list of the first OTA update it will offer Chinese owners for the Year of the Tiger, which includes the karaoke feature, but users will need to purchase the TeslaMic from the Tesla online store to experience the full feature.
The TeslaMic includes 2 microphones per set and is priced at RMB 1,199 ($190). The product sold out a few hours after it became available on January 28, and the information displayed on Tesla's official website in China at the time indicated that the product was expected to be restocked by the end of February.
Then, on Monday, the last day of February, users expecting to buy the product did not see a restock from Tesla, but a new announcement.
Tesla's customer support Weibo account said Monday evening that they would offer a limited number of TeslaMic on the online shopping platform Tmall starting at 8 pm Beijing time on March 1.
The product will be sold for a long time, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the production capacity has not been able to meet expectations yet, Tesla said, adding that a limited number of the product will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
More supply of TeslaMic is expected in mid to late March to alleviate the shortage problem, Tesla said.
Current information on Tesla's China website shows the product is expected to be available in mid-March.
This situation is not uncommon for Chinese consumers, as previously when Apple's new iPhones became available in China, they also usually sold out of the first available ones in a few minutes.
However, it is not common for peripheral goods from an automaker.
While the key reason for this is Tesla's low availability of the TeslaMic, it also reflects the popularity of the in-car KTV feature among Chinese car owners.
For many English-speaking readers, it may be difficult to understand why the karaoke feature is important, but it is indeed a favorite of a large number of Chinese consumers.
Before Tesla, local EV makers NIO, XPeng Motors, and Li Auto already offered the feature to users.
Along with them, Volkswagen has also taken note of this unique interest of Chinese consumers.
"Volkswagen must get its act together in China and understand customers' needs better, particularly in software," the automaker's works council chief Daniela Cavallo said in an interview with Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on February 9.
"For a German driver, it may not be important to have a karaoke system on the central screen, but many Chinese customers love such features and are disappointed when VW does not offer them," Cavallo said.