First grey-import Tesla Model S arrives in China

First grey-import Tesla Model S arrives in China

The first grey-import Tesla Model S has arrived in China at a car dealer in Tianjin. The dealer claims he has fourteen cars available. Tesla has only one official dealer in China, in Beijing, and plans to open a second one in Shanghai soon. Tesla announced pricing for the Model S in January but first deliveries will only start in June.

That is all too slow for wealthy Chinese car buyers who want a Tesla now.

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U.S license plate on a brand new Tesla in China.

This is where the grey market comes in, with U.S. dealers or individuals selling directly to dealers in China. Sellers can ask a huge premium over the official price. The dealer in Tianjin is very well aware of the popularity and scarcity of the Model S in China and refuses to announce a price, inviting buyers to bid instead.

When pushed a spokesman said the current bid for this white car stands at 850.000 yuan or  136.000 USD, a premium of 13.000 USD over the official price. This dealer is going to earn a lot of money on Tesla.

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The grey market has an important drawback; the U.S. warranty won’t be valid in China, and the official dealers might refuse to maintain gray-imported vehicles. However, a bit of extra cash can solve that in most cases…

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Another white car parked outside. The surroundings don’t look very glamorous, but Chinese car buyers couldn’t care less. When they want a Model S, they will get it, no matter what glamor or warranty.


 


8 thoughts on “First grey-import Tesla Model S arrives in China”

  1. I have seen a red Tesla S parking at the Lido Hotel in Beijing some days ago, but have been too slow with the camera.

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