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Tesla Motors is gaining momentum around the world – even in China – as locations without numerous refueling stations demonstrate strong demand for the electric cars.
Moving into the second quarter of 2014, Tesla expects to move 7,500 cars off the lots, it said in a shareholder letter to investors.
Tesla’s worldwide net orders for Model S
In the first quarter of 2014, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) witnessed a significant sequential increase in worldwide net orders for Model S. “This upward trend was driven by our greater global footprint and increasing consumer awareness of Model S. Overall, our customers have now driven Model S more than 275 million miles, saving nearly 14 million gallons of gasoline,” the investor letter noted.
The letter pointed out the firm’s move into China, providing significant focus in this direction. Tesla made its first deliveries of 53 cars into China in late April, which was followed by 532 Model S sedans arriving in the country in May. While June numbers have yet to be calculated, reports from the ground claim June was an even busier month for deliveries, with sales estimates running as high as 1,200 vehicles.
Tesla on its entry in China
“Our entry into China has been greeted enthusiastically,” the letter said, somewhat downplaying the previous year in which it took to secure proper government approvals, licenses and facilities before delivering the first cars in China at customer events in Beijing and Shanghai in April.
Each Chinese event enjoyed ample state media coverage, the letter noted, “complete with delighted Model S owners receiving their cars.” Tesla received further media attention when the Shanghai government announced Model S drivers in the city will be entitled to free license plates, avoiding the usual public auction price of $10,000 to $15,000 per plate. “Since Model S pricing in China was already very competitive, this makes the car’s value proposition even more compelling,” the letter said.
“We plan to expand in China as fast as possible because we believe the country could be one of our largest markets within a few years,” the letter said. “We are also encouraged by how fast we have been able to develop our infrastructure in China when the proper support is in place.” With the help of the Shanghai government Tesla was able to construct a Supercharger station within just a few weeks of site selection. At the start of China deliveries we had three Supercharging sites open, each powered by clean electricity from solar panels. Our plans are to install a large Supercharger network in China.