Tesla Motors, the youngest publicly traded US automaker, has announced it would start sales of its upcoming Model X electric sport utility vehicle in China during the first six months of next year.
The crossover, highly expected by investors, fans and industry observers, is expected to be introduced in the United States this quarter, tapping the booming demand for crossovers and sport utility vehicles, with a green pedigree. From then on, they will also roll it to other markets, with China being a crucial one for the ambitions of billionaire co-founder and chief executive officer Elon Musk. According to a company spokesperson, the luxury electric automaker is also on its way to open five or six new sales locations by the start of 2016, with the showroom tally in China reaching around 15 locations. The new outlets would be positioned in city centers, in places such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with a bid to lift the brand’s visibility and appeal. Tesla’s upcoming SUV model might come and lift demand in China, where the segment remains the fastest-growing amid sagging demand because of the economical weakness and the recent stock market issues.
The company has also been challenged in the world’s largest auto market, where Model S deliveries were impacted by the consumer fear of charging infrastructure weakness. According to CEO Elon Musk, the Model X crossover is expected to double overall sales of the company, with the automaker aiming to deliver 55,000 electric vehicles throughout the year. The carmaker, only selling the Model S, is around 40 percent through the goal, after delivering 21,552 autos during the first six months of the year.