Tesla Motors Inc. has risen to prominence as the electric luxury automaker to be in the span of a few short years, but the global ambitions of the California-based company have hit a snag – China, the world’s largest auto market.
Tesla, which produces high-end electric cars has many fans and devotees all around the world – even in places where it has not sold any car – due to its green design and unique business concept for the brand. But China, with its global key status, has proven so far a tough nut to crack – sales are lagging and executives are coming and going as in the waiting room of a hospital. The patient, naturally, is the brand. Tesla, after starting Chinese deliveries last April ended the year on a weak note, with just 444 cars imported in December – down from 747 in November. According to research done by JL Warren Capital LLC shows that around 45 percent of the Model S luxury sedans (the makes only model for now) already imported in 2014 in China have not even been registered with local authorities.
And Tesla co-founder and CEO, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has repeatedly emphasized China as a driver for Tesla’s 2015 growth, claiming it could match US sales this year already – after reaching only 15% of the company’s global wholesales in 2014. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that China still doesn’t have a popular environmental movement – meaning the primary factor to choose a Tesla model isn’t there. Instead, China’s rich have chosen the car due to its novelty – which could be short-lived as it tries to compete with traditional luxury automakers that can roll out any number of new models each year.