Tesla breaking into Chinese market

Jan. 4, 2014 at 3:56 PM

BEIJING, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Rising demand for luxury cars in China could provide a profitable environment for electric car maker Tesla, the head of a Chinese trade group said.

"As an innovative company, Tesla has a promising future in China due to an increasing demand of luxury cars in China. And support facilities for electric cars, such as charging stations, have been built or are in the process of being built in many first and second tier cities across the country," said Luo Lei, vice secretary-general of the China Automobile Dealers Association.

Tesla, with one showroom in Beijing and a recently launched Chinese website, is attempting to enter the Chinese market in a manner that is unusual for a foreign car company, Luo said.

China's official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday Tesla has begun offering cars through its website, but has very little brand recognition in the country.

"Tesla's marketing is based on e-commerce and direct sales. By comparison, traditional car makers enter foreign markets only after all the preparatory work is done. Instead, Tesla is entering a foreign market first and then developing and adjusting its business strategy according to the local market situation." Luo said.

Experts say demand for luxury cars and the government's push for cleaner energy sources could help Tesla sales in the world's second-largest economy.

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