Musk: Tesla Will Build Cars In China Within Next Few Years

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
musk tesla will build cars in china within next few years

Though Tesla is now just delivering new vehicles to China, CEO Elon Musk predicts his company will build luxury electric vehicles in the burgeoning market within the next three to four years.

Bloomberg reports the move to localized production would allow the automaker to sell their wares while also avoiding China’s 25 percent import tariff. Right now, a new Model S retails for $118,000 in Beijing due to VAT, shipping and import duties, compared to $71,000 in Los Angeles. Musk hopes to qualify the Model S for local subsidies to help offset costs in much the same way the luxury EV sedan receives federal tax credits back in the United States.

In addition, Tesla is expanding its Supercharger network to China, with Beijing and Shanghai among the first cities to join. No word yet as to how much the automaker is investing in the expansion.

A number of challenges lay ahead for Tesla’s move into the market, including slow adoption of electric vehicles among Chinese consumers and lack of a robust infrastructure, as well the loss of China general manager of operations Kingston Chang prior to the automaker’s entry. That said, Tesla plans to increase overall global sales 56 percent this year, moving 35,000 EVs out of the showroom in so doing.

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  • Hummer Hummer on Apr 22, 2014

    What incentive do Chinese have to go with Tesla? Almost every automaker selling in China have lineups designed with Chinese tastes in mind. The "cool" factor that sells Teslas here doesn't exist as ICE haven't been used in masse in china for as long as they have here. And regressive medieval level taxes used in Europe aren't as bad in china in addition to more money being availible then in Europe. EVs aren't doing strong in china vs the US for quite a few reasons, bold move to build a plant in a place that doesn't have a govt incentivizing them in the same way ours does, and also lacking the following it has here.

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    • Wolfinator Wolfinator on Apr 24, 2014

      @u mad scientist Exactly. The armed forces are "volunteer" largely in the same way that 1930's black sharecroppers in the South were "voluntarily" in their position. The armed forces feed off the poor. The non-commissioned ranks are basically a pool of relatively well-paying government jobs offered to the young and poor. I don't necessarily object to that, but it's important to realize when blabbering about how it's totally OK to pointlessly kill our young men in uniform because they "volunteered".

  • So much better than building them in America and exporting them to China. Imagine if America actually opened trade with Cuba, Iran, North Korea and actually PRODUCED stuff to export. Call me stupid but we might actually have more jobs for Americans and less enemies. The capitalist in me wants my TESLA shares to skyrocket as high as they'll go. The protectionist in me would give up every single dime I have to put my country above all others.

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    • Wolfinator Wolfinator on Apr 24, 2014

      @healthy skeptic I dunno - protectionism seems to have worked out really well for the Chinese...seems to have given them an entire auto industry.

  • Boomhauer Boomhauer on Apr 26, 2014

    I'm surprised Musk wants to build there. If he does, he'll put all his Intellectual Property (IP) at risk. China takes all it has in their hands, copies it and sells it back to America.