As with most Western companies, Tesla hasn’t been able to find much success in China, but that’s not a market that Tesla can afford to miss out on. Elon Musk claims that his company is “doing reasonably well” there, but that’s not enough, which is why Tesla is planning to open a manufacturing facility in the country within the next few years. This will allow the company to avoid things like shipping costs and taxes, which means that it can afford to lower the prices of its vehicles and make them more appealing to Chinese consumers.
Seems Tesla is selling better in China than previously believed. Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk told Engadget that the upstart EV automaker is “doing reasonably well” in mainland China. It’s doing so well in fact that Musk and his cohort aim to have a Chinese manufacturing site chosen by mid-2016. Tesla is eager to avoid the lofty import duties levied against cars imported into the country. Avoiding those taxes — in addition to diminished shipping costs — would make Tesla cars more competitive in China. Along with the hopes of a Chinese factory, Musk also said that the Model X crossover will be headed to Hong Kong in 2016. However, Tesla and the Hong Kong government recently clashed when lawmakers forced Tesla to disable Auto Steer and Auto Lane Change in the Autopilot suite of semi-autonomous tech in the Model S cars currently on the roads on the island. So while citizens of Hong Kong will soon be able to buy the Model X, they might not get all of its sweet tech features.