Tesla Birth Watch 42: European Dreams
Now that Tesla's started production on their all-electric Roadster (although there's been no indication that they've delivered a single car to single paying customer), the Silicon Valley start-up is expanding their "sales territory" into Europe. The San Jose Business Journal reports that Tesla's started taking orders across the pond as of last week. Tesla's promising to deliver 250 Elise-based, lithium-ion electric sports cars into the Eurozone as of spring 2009. And here's the kicker: Tesla is asking European buyers to pay 160 percent of the U.S. price. That's $156,630 for a car that sells for $98k here in The Land of the Free. If I was an American customer who'd paid the deposit, I'd raise holy Hell if Tesla sent even one car to Europe before satisfying its aspiring American customers.
Well... when you've emptied the pot of willing suckers in North America... Let's go find a new bag of fools to take in.
Actually, it may be a way for the car to survive; they no doubt are experiencing increased costs due to the prolonged "development" time. I'm sure that investor pressure is driving this development; suddenly, the Euro customers become the "early adopters" who will foot the bill for the domestic $100k "underclass".
@Phil Ressler ...but are also truncating their ability to build a strongly export-driven business They don't need to export their stuff to Europe... Teslas are (supposed to be) made in England. A lot of engineering and testing is also being done by Lotus. Which becomes more and more expensive for Tesla with the current exchange rates.