Tesla Motors’ all-electric Model S sedan has been well received in the United States, and deliveries have just begun in Europe.
Now Tesla, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is getting ready to take on the world’s largest auto market: China, which CEO Elon Musk has described as a “wild card” in the company’s future.
Its first showroom in mainland China, scheduled to open later this year, will be in central Beijing at the exclusive Parkview Green mall.
Tesla’s 8,000-square-foot showroom will be roughly three times larger than its U.S. showrooms.
Auto-industry analysts say Chinese consumers’ growing appetite for luxury automobiles makes it a natural market for Tesla to tackle. Air pollution is a notorious problem in China, and the government is a strong supporter of electric vehicles.
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But the lack of charging infrastructure is an issue. Plus the Chinese government does not currently offer any incentives for imported electric vehicles; Tesla’s Model S is likely to be subject to import and luxury taxes that could double the car’s already steep price of $70,000.