Unperturbed by propaganda that the Japanese import market is closed, and that setting up new cars dealerships in Japan is just about impossible, a myth propagated by an unholy UAW/D3 alliance to detract from the tariff and regulatory walls protecting the American market, Tesla opened its second Japanese showroom in Osaka.
Tesla can do in Japan, what in most of the American market would be illegal: Open its own showroom. As long as the pricey real estate is no hindrance, no law will stop you, in Japan.
Retail prices of the Model S in Japan “will be roughly identical to those in the United States, where it retails for $80,000-$100,000,” the Nikkei heard. “Japanese consumers who prefer to purchase the right-hand-drive version of the Model S will have to wait until 2014 or after as the car is currently only available in the United States as a left-hand drive.” At least, Testa is trying to adapt to Japanese roads, something some Detroit makers don’t.
The Chevrolet Camaro for instance, notoriously is available in LHD only in Japan and elsewhere. So is the Corvette. A RHD Ford Mustang is rumored for the 2015 model year. These cars are very popular with a certain clientele in Japan, but the steering wheel on the wrong side makes them less desirable. Overseas aficionados of American muscle cars have heard promises of RHD models in the past, and have been often disappointed.
With modern production methods, RHD/ LHD is less complex than an optional moonroof. In Japanese and European factories, LHD and RHD cars happily roll down the same production line. Successful sales in a foreign market start with making cars the market wants.