Tesla to start China sales this month

Tesla Motors (TSLA) intends to begin selling its electric cars in China this month, with spokesman Simon Sproule saying that CEO Elon Musk will "personally" do customer deliveries.

Sproule added that Tesla is preparing right-hand drive versions of the Model S for countries such as the U.K. and Hong Kong.

Musk reckons that China can be Tesla's largest market, although Barclays analyst Brian Johnson retains some skepticism. "While we expect strong initial interest from early adopters in China...we see challenges to broader luxury market adoption," Johnson wrote this week. In the U.S., demand for the Model S may have "plateaued," he wrote.

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Comments (17)
  • Monja
    , contributor
    Comments (66) | Send Message
    "Elon Musk will "personally" do customer deliveries."


    Holy frapuccino does this guy never take a day off?? What a legend...
    10 Apr 2014, 05:02 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (4504) | Send Message
    Country of 1.2 billion people I guess so.
    10 Apr 2014, 07:08 AM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (4614) | Send Message
    China is the New Norway? Norway 5 million people average income around $100K.
    China 1.2 Billion people average annual income $2,100 (13,000 Renminbi).
    Interesting that Musk will personally deliver them. Tesla must be depending a lot on China. May not happen: http://onforb.es/1g1Nx8d
    10 Apr 2014, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • 3D Investing
    , contributor
    Comments (1552) | Send Message
    China also has more millionaires than the US and Norway combined.
    10 Apr 2014, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • User 94778
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    How many million Chinese average $100K? Just 1% would be 12 million people.
    10 Apr 2014, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • jvonbokel
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
    Not according to data I found... The US still leads in raw numbers with 5.1M households at a million USD or more in net worth. China has 1.4M, and Norway didn't make the list, so they presumably have less than Spain at 139K. (Source: Boston Consulting Group "Global Wealth 2012")


    That said, I still think Tesla will do well in China. Upper class Chinese people are quite fond of many American luxury brands, and the Model S will be competitively priced compared to other luxury sedans.


    By the way, number of millionaires is hardly an excellent benchmark for sales of an EV, even if it costs $70k and up. Tesla does well in Norway in large part because of tax breaks that make the Model S half as expensive as a similarly priced gasoline car.
    10 Apr 2014, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • keithbkyle
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    jvonbokel -- good points. Tesla will have a huge advantage in the luxury market in China because other luxury brands are gouging. All foreign luxury brands are inflated there... but Merc/BMW/Audi are overboard. Mercedes S are going in the $260k range whereas Model S will be around $130k. Add (completely justified) concern in China about air quality and I think Tesla is bound to kill in that market.
    10 Apr 2014, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • joenjensen
    , contributor
    Comments (701) | Send Message
    Hope the news is good, Tesla needs a good news break about now !
    10 Apr 2014, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (10533) | Send Message
    I'm going to assume Elon will be there for the first group delivery, not driving individual cars to people.
    10 Apr 2014, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • Tommymg
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
    Let's just wait & see. I'm glad to own some Tesla, now & will probably wish I had bought more, later? 5 million x $100k and 1.2 billion x $2k = interesting math.
    10 Apr 2014, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (4614) | Send Message
    I would assume that Elon is also going to China to interview candidates to replace the China sales manager who quit.
    10 Apr 2014, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (10533) | Send Message
    Pretty sure that position was already filled by the more competent Veronica Wu who has been running the China operations.
    10 Apr 2014, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • CoverDrive
    , contributor
    Comments (672) | Send Message
    And if she quits, they'll find someone even better to replace her! That's the way it is at Tesla.
    11 Apr 2014, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • MaiTesla
    , contributor
    Comments (54) | Send Message
    BMW sells more cars in China than in the US meaning there is a huge market for Tesla to grab if the wealthy Chineses see Tesla as a luxury brand.
    10 Apr 2014, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (4614) | Send Message
    Right you are. I never would have guessed. BMW doesn't sell the i3 in China. It looks like the SUV and the 3 Series are the big sellers.


    BMW left rivals Audi and Mercedes in the rear-view mirror in the first three months of the year as global sales of BMW brand cars, SUVs, Minis and Roll-Royce rose nearly 9% to 487,024 vehicles. Sales were buoyed by BMW's X-series suburban utility vehicles and the 3 Series.
    BMW sales in the U.S. rose 2.6% to 81,034 vehicles. BMW will begin selling its new X4 SUV in the U.S. this summer and has announced a $1 billion expansion of its Spartanburg, SC plant to build a large SUV called the X7. BMW is also expected to announce soon where it will locate a new manufacturing plant that will build cars for the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets.
    10 Apr 2014, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • Doc's Trading
    , contributor
    Comments (1847) | Send Message
    Technical update ...TSLA.... Lower buy stop on short sale of TSLA to $210.10 from 218.10.
    I still expect stock to close below 202 for another down leg; however stop orders are always necessary and essential....
    more later.....
    11 Apr 2014, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • niboryak
    , contributor
    Comments (114) | Send Message
    Sunday 2 p.m.== Bloomberg news scroll;=== ''Tesla ready to begin (immediate) deliveries of S model to Chinese customers.''
    20 Apr 2014, 03:14 PM Reply Like
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