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Tesla Model S Comes to China, Pre-Orders Open up

08-22 14:50 Caijing
Tesla will keep its direct sales tradition in China and won't seek cooperation with any dealers, according to Kingston Chang, general manager at Tesla China.

Tesla Motors Inc. 's flagship Model S is finally coming to China, warming up to a large number of Tesla and Musk fans in the world's largest auto market.

Tesla China confirmed that the Model S pre-orders have opened up and an account verified as "Tesla China" was seen Thursday on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular micro-blogging site with over 500million users.

Tesla will keep its direct sales tradition in China and won't seek cooperation with any dealers, according to Kingston Chang, general manager at Tesla China.

Model S will be sold to China at the same prices as in other places of the world and Chinese consumers will, of course, have to pay for the shipment and taxes, Elon Musk, the CEO told China Entrepreneur magazine in an interview.

Musk has described China as a "wild card" in the company's future as the legendary CEO tries to cash in on the country's increasingly wealthy population and the government's support for clean-energy vehicles.

The Tesla Model S which is priced at between $70,000 and $100,000 in the United States is likely to cost Chinese consumers 600,000 yuan ($98,000) to 850,000 yuan ($139,000), after import duty, VAT and consumption tax is added.  

Musk also expects cheaper Tesla models to come in 3-4 years.

Not everything looks great for Tesla, however, as the company is still trouble with a trademark troll after it found out "TESLA MOTORS" was already registered in China, the same problem Apple encountered as it started to sell iPad in the country.

The man, named Zhan Baocheng which trademarked the "Tesla" name back in 2009 claimed he is engaged in research and development of electric cars too and asked more than $32million from Tesla for the trademark, nearly ten times the price Tesla offered.

In a survey conducted by Nanfang Daily, over half of respondents said underdeveloped charging station system will restrain Tesla’s development in China while 18.66 percent thought the country's huge affluent population will be a great opportunity for the company.

Model S won a combined 5.4 stars Tuesday from an independent safety test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the highest safety record any SUVs and minivans ever achieved.

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