Tesla’s Chinese site is now live at Tuosule.cn. Tesla’s road to China has so far been a difficult one, mainly due to patent trolls who managed to register Tesla’s unofficial Chinese name at ‘te-se-la‘ (???) which led to an imprompt name change to Tuo Se Le, a name that reflects the company’s name in Chinese phonetically but not the one that the vast majority of Chinese media have been using unofficially for the past few years.
According to wallstcheatsheet.com, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk is hoping for sales of around 5000 units in Asia this year:
CEO Elon Musk says that he thinks Tesla “could eventually sell 10,000 a year in Europe and 5,000 in Asia,” and since the company is aiming to sell 21,000 or so units this year, those numbers are not insignificant. Upon landing in China, the Model S will be met by growing expansion efforts from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, all of which are battling for a bigger piece of China’s luxury car pie.
How many of them will come from the Chinese mainland is still hard to gauge at this stage. Tesla, as a luxury auto marker, will gain quite a bit of import taxation which will send the Model S north of $145,000USD with a $41,000USD deposit. The Chinese site is also taking deposits for the not as yet launched SUV, the Model X.
The Tesla range of vehicles are not eligible for subsides in China owing to their imported status, not that it matters as Tesla are a luxury product and thus consumers will be willing to spend luxury pricing. Future models such as the mass market 30,000USD and rising models that Tesla have planned maybe a little too expensive once they reach China, but perhaps then Tesla could potentially adopt localization within China – if the market conditions allow for it.