Tesla Motors announced its China pricing for the all-electric Model S, saying the price for the 85 kwh battery pack car will be 734,00 yuan, or $121,000. That’s basically U.S. pricing plus the costs of shipping, VAT, and import duties.
China, the world’s largest auto market, has always been the “wild card” in Tesla’s international strategy.
In a blog, Tesla announced that it could have charged twice as much for the Model S in China as it does in the U.S., but “want to do the right thing for Chinese consumers.”
“The price of a Model S in China is much lower than its competitors simply because we want to treat our Chinese customers just as well as we’d treat customers in any other country,” said Tesla. “That means the price of a Model S in China is the same as the price of a Model S in the US, adding only unavoidable taxes, customs duties and transportation costs. We’re not even factoring in the cost of the free-to-use Supercharger network that Tesla will build across China.”
Andrea James, an analyst at Dougherty & Co., said Thursday that Tesla is still a buy, with a $200 price target.
“Tesla will be able to drive significant demand in China for its vehicles,” said James. “Some Mercedes prices in China are twice what they are in the U.S.”
CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg that he plans to travel to China in late March and expects sales of the vehicle in China to match U.S. levels by 2015.
“It could be as big as the U.S. market, maybe bigger. I don’t want to get overexcited about it,” Musk told Bloomberg’s Alan Ohnsman. “Even without building there locally, it’s always going to be the second-biggest market after the U.S.”
Photo of Model S from Tesla Motors