Tesla Model S Orders and Sales in China


The Tesla Model S is fairly priced” from $121,000 in China, but are Chinese buyers receptive of the Model S?

Model S in China

Model S in China

To find out what it takes to order a Model S in China, Forbes hit the ground there with a mission.

As Forbes states:

“The sales representative at the service center told us over the phone that delivery to Beijing would take four months, so that, if we ordered today, we could have our car in July. At the Beijing store, however, we were told that the Model S could not be picked up until September or October…”

A rather long wait, don’t you think?

It’s our belief that Tesla has not yet finalized all of the actual sales details in China and until the automaker does that, deliveries to buying customers can’t occur.

Forbes says that its “industry sources” note that no Model S EVs will be delivered to customers in China until August.

While in China, Forbes had one more mission: to determine how many Model S orders have been placed.

Forbes wasn’t able to obtain a precise figure though:

“We tried through our industry sources to find a reliable estimate, but the best we could determine is that the number of orders from China is more than 1,000, but less than the 7,000 to 8,500 unit expectation for this year.”

Interestingly, Forbes adds this:

“What is puzzling is that our sources also tell us that Tesla will not be exhibiting at the Beijing Auto Show in April, when automakers from all over the world will come to China to showcase their new models. Given the importance of China to Tesla, this would seem to be a missed opportunity.”

So, what’s your take on Tesla in China?  Is something going on there that Tesla doesn’t want us to know?  Remember, Tesla is banking on China to increase Model S sales this year.  Maybe that’s not panning out yet?

Source: Forbes

Categories: Tesla


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12 Comments on "Tesla Model S Orders and Sales in China"

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Yes, I’ve posted this link at few sites. Also, note the departure of Tesla’s China GM. Certainly, (s)he wouldn’t have left if things were that rosy.

You also missed the fact (written in that Forbes article) that Teslas don’t qualify for special license in Beijing. So, Tesla buyers have to go through the lottery process just like every othre ordinary Joe car.

There is a very good chance things are very rosy at Tesla China and the reason Kingston Chang left was that Veronica Wu was the de facto General Manager once she was hired.

And Tesla has not qualified YET for EV licenses and subsidies. Does not mean that will be the case forever or even next month.

“The sales representative at the service center told us over the phone that delivery to Beijing would take four months, so that, if we ordered today, we could have our car in July. At the Beijing store, however, we were told that the Model S could not be picked up until September or October…” Sounds like two people working off of the same information, and then counting differently. The person on the phone is taking the optimistic view of four months, and counting April, May, June, and July as the 4 months, and optimistically predicting a delivery by the very end of July. The person at the Beijing store isn’t counting April as one of the 4 months, since we’re already in it. May, June, July, and August are the months that this person is counting as the 4 months people will have to wait before the cars will be available. With deliveries starting in September after the 4 month wait is over, but hedging a bit because they are pessimistic/realistic and putting the time frame in the September/October time frame. This is what happens when you tell folks fuzzy things like there will be a 4 month wait. Different… Read more »

The article was published on March 24, so research was probably done early march/February. Read the original article by google/bing searching “What’s It Like To Buy A Tesla In China?”.

But I think it is common to have these confusions regarding actual delivery dates, as things aren’t settled yet in China. And those delivery dates are close enough when we are still4 months away from those dats. Also, if the enquirer wasn’t chinese. language barrier could have been a factor.

But what’s consistent is a very late delivery schedule, and low demand. So, don’t count China delivery for Q1 or Q2 numbers.

What is puzzling about Tesla not being at the Beijing auto show?

Forbes should know that Tesla’s advertising budget is exactly $0, so they are not getting in the show unless they get a free invite.


Tesla does have a show budget though. They’ve been at many shows.

However, bloomberg is reporting very different news today, that Tesla will begin delivery this month. Does Tesla have any consistency in what it says?


Clearly then Tesla must be incompetent liars.

(That was sarcasm)

I think if sales weren’t taking off Tesla would have made a point of showing up on the Beijing Auto Show. But there is lots of tea leaf readers out there and as always they just see what they want to see. I’m sure the facts will appear in the quarterly earning reports.

Musk has always and continues to state that demand isn’t a problem as much as supply is the problem. I wouldn’t worry about them skipping the Beijing Auto Show too much as they have skipped pretty much every American Auto Show as well, even LA in their own backyard.

Interesting hypothesis based on ‘Musk must be right. His every statement is an ordain’.
Tesla did attend the Geneva auto hsow, and nobody cared that they did. They had the same piece of boring car, and noone even mentioned their name. The 500 hp+ muscle cars were the kings. A few noteworthy others were really high efficiency ice cars like Toyota Aygo ( 57 mpg).
The Vegas show was different. They had to disclose their reckless growth in Q4 early, to sell $2B worth of notes.