Tesla cars are some of the best and most-desired vehicles these days, and this is evident from the fact that Russians are ready to spend twice what the cars typically sell for to get their hand on a Model S, says a report from Bloomberg. Also around 100,000 Russians are followers of CEO Elon Musk’s unofficial media account. But still, Musk is not selling cars in the region.
Tesla vehicles have good demand in Russia
Software executive Andrey Vratskiy a true Tesla fan, already has one Tesla, but the hardships he had to face to get the vehicle are something to look at. He was so keen to replace his BMW X6 with a Model S that he ended up paying almost double the retail price. In addition to the absence of a charging infrastructure in the country, Vratskiy had to pay $12,000 for its transportation from the U.S. to Moscow and $50,000 for customs clearance. That was two years ago, but not much has changed since then except for the fact that a few hundred more Tesla vehicles are now in the region.
Tesla reported revenue of $1.1 billion in the first quarter, which is similar to what Russians spent on luxury cars in January through May, claims market research firm Avtostat. The Palo Alto-based automaker set a high goal of delivering at least 55,000 vehicles around the world this year, and last week, the firm revealed that it delivered a record 11,507 Model S sedans in the second quarter. Vratskiy notes that the demand for the brand is so high that with attention similar to what the company gets in China, Musk could easily sell 2,000 Model S sedans and 2,000 of its upcoming Model X crossovers per year in Russia.
No after-sales service for Russian fans
Vartskiy and other Tesla fan club members have made many written requests to the U.S. firm to set up shop in the country, but each time they got a cold response: the country just isn’t a priority. As Tesla is not selling its cars in Russia, it is not providing any kind of post-sales service facilities to Russian customers in terms of “warranty, charging solutions, service, or assistance with the necessary steps to legally import” its cars, says the report. It is totally upon the customer to have a Tesla at their own risk. The nearest service center is in Finland, which is about 900 kilometers away from Moscow.
Additionally, there is no respite in sight, thanks to the strained relationship between the U.S. and Russia following Putin’s decision to support the rebellion in Ukraine. So for Russian Tesla fans, it means they will still have to pay a hefty premium for their favorite car.