Business / Auto China

Tesla coming to China fully loaded with optimism

By Li Fangfang in Detroit (China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-16 07:31

Tesla coming to China fully loaded with optimism

Tesla Vice-President of Business Development Diarmuid O'Connel (L) and Jerome Guillen, Vice President of Sales and Service, speak next to a Tesla S electric car and a charging station (R) during the press preview day of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, US on January 14, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Tesla Motors will soon begin selling its luxury Model S in China at a "very competitive price" to lure Chinese customers, according to a top executive with the US electric carmaker.

"We are now finalizing the price of the Model S in China. In the weeks to come, the first batch of cars will be shipped, after we have received approval from the Chinese government to import the vehicles," said Jerome Guillen, vice-president for sales and service at Tesla.

He told China Daily at the ongoing North America International Auto Show in Detroit that he has read about the of BMWs being sold in China with a large differential in pricing between there and the United States.

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But "if you compare Tesla's prices in the two countries, the gap will be very small. The only difference is in duties and sales tax," he said.

The Model S has been sold in the US for anywhere from $70,000 to $100,000.

He said Tesla will try to make the cars affordable for more Chinese buyers.

"We see it as a mission to show our appreciation and respect for the China market," Guillen said. "Thus, we are making the pricing transparent and fair."

He added that Tesla is already using components made in China. "We expect more suppliers from China.

"It's also a way that we hope the Chinese government will impose lower duty for the partly 'localized' Tesla cars," he added.

Because China's government now only provides subsidies to homegrown electric cars, Guillen said Tesla hopes for such non-financial support as free license plate applications in big cities to make the car more attractive to potential owners.

The US brand opened its first showroom in Beijing in November, where it initiated pre-orders.


More North American International Auto Show pictures:

Tesla coming to China fully loaded with optimism
Tesla coming to China fully loaded with optimism

N. American Intl Auto Show starts

Concept cars at N. American Intl Auto Show


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