Originally published on Gas2 by Christopher DeMorro
With a starting price of around $70,000 (not including the $7,500 Federal tax credit), the Tesla Model S is the kind of car most of us can only ever dream of owning. Over in China though, it’s about as obtainable as unicorn dung. The first Tesla Model S recently arrived in China at great cost, the new owner laying out an estimated $410,000 to get his hands on the electric sedan.
Tesla, (which currently goes by the Tuosule moniker) is currently fighting for ownership of its own name in China even as they company has begun taking reservations for the Model S in places like import-friendly Hong Kong. It has not, however, begun shipping and selling cars to China. For the wealthy and impatient, that leaves the only alternative as shipping in a Tesla via China’s thriving gray market.
By greasing the right palms, wealthy Chinese car buyers import everything from Mustangs to Maserati’s at prices that are often double or triple the original cost of the car. In the cast of the Tesla Model S (which will we assume is a fully-loaded, 85 kWh Performance model), the final price was almost quadruple what the same car would cost in America. It makes what Europe pays for the Tesla Model S look downright reasonable. I guess Tesla is right to look to China with optimism though.
But to be the first sometimes means laying out a little extra loot, and some people really can’t wait to drive the world’s best electric car.
Source: Autoblog Green
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