Published on January 24th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Tesla Model S = $121,000 In China

January 24th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas 2.


The surging market for luxury goods in China has seen automakers both big and small fleecing well-heeled customers with outrageously-priced vehicles. Many wondered how much the Tesla Model S would cost on the Chinese market. Tesla announced that Chinese customers will pay the same price as everyone else.

After taxes, tariffs, and other various importation-related fees, Chinese customers can expect to spend about $121,000 for a 85 kWh Tesla Model S. While that is $51,000 more than the $80,000 MSRP of the Model S here in America, $19,000 of that is in local taxes, and another $17,000 is chalked up to the Valued Added Tax. Throw in $3,600 for shipping and exchange rates and you arrive at approximately $121,000.

It’s a bold move for Tesla, which has yet to secure the rights to its name in the world’s largest car market. But with this aggressive pricing strategy, China could become the biggest market for the Model S. Comparable cars like the BMW 650, which retails for about $87,000 in the US, can cost more than $326,000 in China. It’s not that demand isn’t there, as one eager Chinese customer paid around $400,000 to import a Tesla into the country. Tesla is leaving a lot of money on the table, hoping to make up that lost money in volume.

What’s bound to follow from here is the installation of a Chinese Supercharger network, as well as the opening of more stores outside of Hong Kong. If Tesla plays its cards right, it could stand to benefit from a major shift in transportation policy as Beijing and other Chinese cities are suffocated by smog. All it takes is one edict by the government, and suddenly Teslas are the hottest luxury good among China’s nouveau riche.

Source: Tesla Blog

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • A Real Libertarian

    “While that is $51,000 more than the $80,000 MSRP of the Model S here in America ”


    • Benjamin Nead

      Correct. $80K + $41K = $121K. The article incorrectly sites a $51K markup.

      Also . . . $19K (local taxes) + $17 (VAT) + $3.6K (shipping) = $39.6K (not $41K)

      More germane to what is attempting to being expressed in the article (ie: getting beyond the bad basic arithmetic contained within,) there is a report of an apparent high markup on luxury import cars that Chinese billionaires are lusting after. I’m hardly choking back tears of sympathy.

      I feel far more empathy for the common Chinese factory worker, who would never be able to afford cars like this – even before an importation markup – than plutocrats there who have this sort of discretionary cash on hand.

      Rather that buying themselves imported Teslas (or worse, luxury gas guzzlers,) these Chinse billionaires should buy themselves a far more reasonably priced Chinese-made EVs and – for everyone who works for them – bikes or e-bikes. Think of the money they would save . . . and how much cleaner the air would be over there. Before too long, they wouldn’t have to watch their sunrise on wide screen outdoor television . . .

  • rrdonovan

    Sadly, the writer is a talking head. Long live Elon. Why heck, Elon for President……

    • BIndeR

      Well, he’d have my vote, that’s for sure.

  • Alan Dean Foster

    Elon just acquired $100,000,000 worth of beneficial PR for the Chinese market, and all it took was for him to act like a mensch

    • rrdonovan

      Mensch? ! You Jewish or what? ??

      • Alan Dean Foster

        I consider myself “what”.

  • Shiggity

    Elon Musk is one crafty dude.

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