Business / Auto China

Tesla attempts to steer China toward awarding it incentives

By Li Fangfang (China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-12 07:07

In another piece of good news for its investors, on Jan 22, Tesla announced the pricing of its Model S in China: 734,000 yuan, far lower than the market anticipation of at least 1 million yuan.

The price is still about 50 percent higher than is charged in the United States but it is because it covers shipping, taxes and import duties, with "no additional profits", the company said.

Accepting orders with deposits from August will kick off sales next month in the world's largest automobile market.

Elon Musk, Tesla's billionaire chief executive officer, said in an earlier interview that the company expects sales in China to match its US volume by 2015.

In 2013, Tesla sold 22,300 Model S vehicles around the globe, far more than its initial target of 20,000 units.

Jerome Guillen, Tesla's vice-president for sales and service, told China Daily in January that the company hoped to double its annual sales in 2014 "with high expectation for the China market".

"Although not eligible for central government's subsidies now, we hope to acquire local non-financial support such as free license plate applications in big cities and favorable parking measures to make the car more attractive to potential owners," he said then.

Following the US brand's opening a Beijing showroom in November, Tesla planned to also open a service center in the city.

The electric car leader said it also was looking for sites in Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities.

Guillen added that to support the expected high demand in China, Tesla would increase capacity.

The Nasdaq-listed innovative company now has only the Model S four-door sport car available. But, Guillen said, "we will launch Model X, a sport-utility model, at the end of this year, and in three years' time, the third generation, a smaller car than Model S, will hit the market at half the price, which we believe will have good sales in China." 

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