Rich Russians Go To Extremes To Buy Tesla Model S EVs
Officially, the Tesla Model S isn’t sold in Russia through Tesla’s own channels. However, that hasn’t stopped some wealthy Tesla fans from procuring a Model S in Russia.
As Automotive News states:
“Almost 100,000 Russians follow Musk’s unofficial social media page, yet the Tesla founder seems to be promoting his dream car everywhere but here, forcing enthusiasts such as Andrey Vratskiy to go to great lengths — and expense — to own one.”
“Vratskiy, a 33-year-old software executive, wanted to swap his BMW X6 for a $75,000 Tesla S so badly that he agreed to pay almost double for it. With no sales network in Russia, he had to buy his sedan in the U.S. and spend $12,000 to fly it to Moscow, where it cost $50,000 to clear customs.”
“With no entry in site, Tesla enthusiasts in Russia like Vratskiy will have to continue paying a premium to the private traders that are stepping in to meet demand. Two dozen Model S cars are currently being advertised on Avto.ru, the country’s largest online marketplace for vehicles, for as much as 11 million rubles ($195,000) each.”
Vratski isn’t the only Russia to have pursued an unusual route to obtain a Tesla Model S. Apparently, there are over 250 Model S EVs in Russia. despite there not being a single Tesla store or service center in the entire country.
Automotive News adds:
“Other Russian [Tesla Model S] owners include billionaire Roman Abramovich and bankers Herman Gref and Andrei Akimov, who head OAO Sberbank and OAO Gazprombank, Russia’s largest and third-largest lenders, respectively.”
It’s believed that Tesla could sell some 2,000 Model S EVs and an additional 2,000 Model X SUVs in Russia annually if it opened a proper store and a few service centers, but Tesla doesn’t seem interested in doing so.
The biggest problem for current Tesla owners in Russia is that if their vehicle needs service, the nearest center 550 miles away in Finland.
Source: Automotive News