Tesla has opened an online store on Alibaba’s online marketplace. On Thursday, Tesla’s Tmall store went online and it plans to start sales of Tesla car parts and related merch on April 21. Tmall is Alibaba’s B2C (Business to Customer) platform, a spinoff from Taobao (one of Alibaba’s flagship e-commerce platforms), to sell brand-name goods. This is also Tesla’s first third-party store in China.
— Brian Swails (@BrianSwails) April 16, 2020
This move will allow potential buyers to request test drives, but not buy cars (yet).
In China, Tesla is already selling made-in-China Model 3 cars and has been ramping up its business despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Also, there are plans to manufacture made-in-China Model Y vehicles in the Shanghai factory later this year.
A quick look at the menu, with the help of Google Translate, shows that buyers can book a test drive, order Model 3 and Model S accessories, as well as look at every single item in the store under one tab.
Back in March, Fortune published an article asking how Tesla would weather the coronavirus. The headline also answered the question: “Quite nicely, analysts predict.” Looking at the progress in China, it seems that the analysts are correct. The stock price has been following that assumption this past week as well.
Tesla opening up the online store through Alibaba also shows a touch of respect to China. It shows Tesla is supporting Chinese businesses.
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