Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Eyes China After Strong Start in Hong Kong

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Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has had a banner year. It has enjoyed startling stock growth after surprising The Street with its first profit since the company was founded then followed up that quarter up with an unexpected earnings beat and still more stock gains. More and more charging stations are going up each week while reviewers of the Model S continue to gush about Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s  and Elon Musk’s car that is quite simply built for driving.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Eyes China After Strong Start in Hong Kong

This week saw over 300 Hong Kong residents who make refundable deposits of HK$39,000 to HK$330,000 ($5,000-$42,500) even though Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has not told them how much the car will cost. If of these depositors take delivery of their cars, Hong Kong will have more Model S sedans than either Australia, Japan or the UK. But if you look at Hong Kong island, it’s the perfect place to drive an electric car. The average commute is roughly 20 miles and for many considerably shorter. In mid-2012, the city had roughly 1,000 charging stations in shopping centers and parking lots, the Environment Bureau says.

Success of Tesla in China?

Whether or not that success will bode well for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) on the mainland, however, is a different animal. For city driving the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) should still work nicely but for trips of any distance the electric car just hasn’t taken off despite the fact that Beijing offers a sizable subsidy for those that purchase electric vehicles.

“While the influence of Hong Kong toward mainland China has decreased compared to the 90s, it should still contribute to the development of the brand in China,” said Pablo Mauron, China general manager at market researcher Digital Luxury Group.

While its true that Hong Kong still influences the mainland when it comes to luxury, it doesn’t change the fact that for now their are one 168 electric car charging stations in the entirety of China, something that will surely need to change after Tesla opens its showroom in Beijing next year.

Another thing that’s going to have to change is the backseat. Many of those who could afford the Model S prefer to be chauffeured.

To attract buyers in mainland China Tesla plans to make the rear seat of the Model S more luxurious since many wealthy Chinese have drivers, Musk said on an Aug. 7 conference call. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) began taking reservations in China this week.

The Model S was designed “to be the perfect driver’s car,” Musk said, according to a transcript of the call. “Obviously if people are being driven around, then we need to make sure the back seat is optimized.”

I doubt a man who can start a private economy rocket company will struggle too much with a backseat.

via: Bloomberg

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