The automobile sector in China is growing, and the nouveau riche in China are looking for premium vehicles, such as those offered by Tesla Motors, to set themselves apart from the crowd.
In spite of the need for clean transportation in China, however, Tesla Motors‘ sales in China will most likely not be driven by those seeking to make less of an impact on the environment. If anything, buyers will be seeking to make a bigger impact on their friends, with a shiny new, and fairly expensive, all-American electric vehicle. Of course, the Tesla Model S 85 kWh is an import for China, and there are no plans for local production, so the vehicle starts at about $120,000, including shipping, tariffs, and other taxes.
In fact, Tesla Motors has already been selling the Tesla Model S, in China, under its English name. Thanks to some Chinese businessman’s eye for a quick buck, Tesla Motors has been unable to sell under the Chinese name “Ti Se La” until just recently, after the trademark dispute was resolved. With the trademark dispute out of the way, we find that Tesla Motors has big plans for sales in China, in 2014.
Tesla Model S is already the best-selling car in Norway, the best-selling electric vehicle in Canada, and is generally successful wherever it is sold. With China’s booming economy, it should come as no surprise that Tesla Motors China vice-president Veronica Wu expects big things. By the end of 2014, Wu expects up to a dozen stores to open in various cities of mainland China, and that sales should make up some “30 to 35 percent” of global Tesla Motors sales.
Tesla Motors production is expected to double this year, so 35% of global sales in China could amount to something like 16,000 units. This is a pretty impressive goal for Tesla Motors China, but vice-president Wu says she is confident. Considering that China has reaffirmed its stance on electric vehicles, as well as reinstated incentives to buy, Tesla Motors could indeed exceed all expectations. My only hope is that the profits from this success will feed back into development and production of a Tesla model for the masses.
Image © Tesla Motors