Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is planning to set up a plant in Europe after recording sales of 160,000 units of electric cars in a year, according to Automotive News, which cites chief executive Elon Musk. While talking to the news site in London during the celebration of the delivery of the first right-hand-drive Model S sedans in the United Kingdom, Musk said that he is envisioning selling a comparable number of cars in Europe as in the United States.
U.K. to become hub for Tesla Europe
There was no comment from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) officials, but according to Musk, the company will have to open a plant in China within three to four years and will consider one in Europe as well. He added that setting up a factory in Europe or China would only be justified when global sales surpasses 500,000 vehicles.
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Additionally, Musk stated that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will open a European research and development center in the United Kingdom in 2015 or 2016, followed by a final assembly plant in the Netherlands where batteries will be re-installed into Tesla vehicles imported from the United States to Europe.
Model X to arrive next year
At present, the Model S is the only car from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), and sales in Europe totaled 3,467 units in the first four months, compared to 2,050 sales in the United Sales, as per a report from JATO Dynamics market researchers. As of now, Tesla is building all of its Model S sedans in Fremont, Calif. at a facility previously operated by New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. a joint venture between General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) (TYO:7203).
Musk is confident that the United Kingdom will be a bigger market than Norway for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in Europe. In the U.K., the Model S is priced at 49,900 pounds and is sold at the company’s U.K. dealership in London’s Westfield shopping mall. The CEO stated that the Model X may arrive in the United States in the second quarter of next year, followed by Europe at the end of next year. Another entry-level car, which will be smaller than the Model S and priced at 25,000 pounds, will also be launched. It is expected to come out three years from now.