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Tesla Motors plans to sell 35% of cars in China

Staff writer |
Tesla Motors expects its China sales to contribute one third of global sales growth this year as a trademark issue stalling full-entry into China had been resolved.

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Veronica Wu, vice president of Tesla's China operations, told Reuters the Palo Alto -based company planned to open stores in 10-12 Chinese cities by the end of 2014, including its flagship store in Beijing that opened late last year. She said Tesla China had a "very aggressive growth objective" and it is aiming to contribute "30 to 35 percent" of Tesla's overall global sales growth targeted for 2014.

Ms. Wu said the company aimed to double overall total sales this year. She put global sales at 23,000 to 24,000 last year. "I have my work cut out for me," Wu said in an interview. "But I am pretty confident." She discussed Tesla's plans for its Chinese sales and marketing operations at Tesla's flagship store inside an upscale shopping mall in Beijing a day after announcing its pricing strategy.

Tesla said that a version of the Tesla Model S, a sleek all-electric battery car which sells for $81,070 in the United States, would retail for 734,000 yuan ($121,300) in China after shipping costs and import duty and other taxes. The company was referring to a Model S with an 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack.

Tesla had also resolved a trademark issue that had long prevented the company from using "Te Si La", the Chinese name best known among Chinese consumers, which Tesla wanted to use in China.

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