Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has launched its official website in China Tuosule.cn as its critically-acclaimed vehicles are scheduled to hit the Chinese market in February 2014. The company has started taking pre-orders for Model S and Model X through its website. Model X is an SUV-sedan crossover that is likely to hit the markets by the end of 2014. Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has already been taking pre-orders through its recently launched showroom in Beijing.
Tesla offering incentives to Chinese buyers
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is charging a reservation fee of $41,000 or RMB 250,000 for both models. The China Daily said last month that the Model S is likely to be priced between $146,000 and $200,000 in China. That’s because the country levies heavy taxes on imports. In contrast, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has priced the Model S between $71,000 and $120,000 in the U.S, depending on specs. Kingston Chang, who has previously worked with Bentley China, is currently the general manager of Tesla China.
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Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) had to pick its domain name as Tuosule.cn because a Guangzhou-based company registered the Tesla.cn domain in 2006, though that site is currently not in use. Tuosule is the phonetic version of Tesla in Chinese.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Chinese website says that, though its cars come at a premium, the company will be offering incentives to attract local customers. The Palo Alto-based company’s target market is the environmentally-conscious and affluent people.
Tesla’s challenges in China
China definitely represents a huge opportunity for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). But the company is certain to face some major challenges. It will be competing against much less expensive vehicles produced by domesric companies BYD and Kandi, which are supported by the Chinese government. Elon Musk said earlier this year he has a realistic view of challenges in China. Musk conservatively said he expects to sell 5,000 vehicles in Asia, but if his bet on China pays off, the numbers could go much higher.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares were up 1.42% to $149.73 in pre-market trading Monday.