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First grey-import Tesla Model S arrives in China

Published on May 16, 2014 by Tycho de Feijter

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.


 


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  1. China commodity imports top expectations as stockpiling supports - China Sourcing Blog- May 16, 2014 Reply

    […] Very first grey-import Tesla Model S arrives in China The very first grey-import Tesla Model S has arrived in China at a car dealer in Tianjin. The dealer claims he has fourteen automobiles offered. Tesla has only one official dealer in China, in Beijing, and plans to open a second one particular in Shanghai soon. Tesla … Read more on CarNewsChina […]

  2. Dom- May 16, 2014 Reply

    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.

  3. In a grey market in Tianjin, proof why Tesla will easily sell its 5,000 cars in China | Daily Kanban- May 16, 2014 Reply

    […] ordered month ago, the car can be had for cash at a grey import dealer in said Tianjin. According to Tycho de Feijter of Carnewschina, “the dealer claims he has fourteen cars available.” Tesla has only one official dealer, in […]

  4. ?Grey Market Teslas Invade China Because The Rich Don't Wait | mspfinder.net- May 17, 2014 Reply

    […] Tesla Model S sedans have landed at a car dealer in Tianjin, China, …read […]

  5. ​Grey Market Teslas Invade China Because The Rich Don’t Wait | Binary Reveux- May 17, 2014 Reply

    […] Tesla Model S sedans have landed at a car dealer in Tianjin, China, each with a price tag of around 850,000 yuan, or $136,000. That’s a $13,000 premium over the […]

  6. ​Grey Market Teslas Invade China Because The Rich Don’t Wait |- May 17, 2014 Reply

    […] Tesla Model S sedans have landed at a car dealer in Tianjin, China, each with a price tag of around 850,000 yuan, or $136,000. That’s a $13,000 premium over the […]

  7. This map shows why Tesla will not make its 5,000 unit target in China anytime soon. Sorry, I was wrong | Daily Kanban- May 20, 2014 Reply

    […] what we thought as a mostly adulatory article, Tycho wrote last week that boundless demand for Tesla’s Model S fuels the grey marketing activities of Tianjin car dealers. I followed it up with the fawning […]

  8. People In China Are Apparently Paying $240,000 For American Tesla Model Xs  | danilnews- August 6, 2016 Reply

    […] CarNewsChina reported a similar phenomenon in 2014, the Model S. They talked about a dealer who had a gray […]

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