Report: Tesla to Test Its Luck in China

Is China ready for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)? According to a report by the Global Times, Tesla is planning to open a sales outlet in Beijing, possibly before the end of this year, to test its viability in China as government policy shifts toward helping the electric car industry. Though company executives are aware of the risks involved, Elon Musk et al are apparently ready to try their concept out on the world’s largest auto market.

The Chinese media is reporting Tesla will debut its cars in a September auto show in Chengdu prior to opening a shop in Beijing. Tesla is expected to deliver the same type of experience offered in U.S. outlets. With the Chinese government promoting electric vehicles with subsidies for consumers, the timing of the move may be right, though there are questions the market will support it, and whether there will be charging stations to make the move feasible.

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One industry executive told the Global Times the move was premature. “It’s not yet time to make a strong push for the electric vehicle sector,” said Qiao Shungpu, an expert on the Chinese car market. Electric vehicle sales are not booming in China as is, but others are wondering if a substantial number of Chinese consumers exist for an electric car that costs around $70,000 — before taxes and other markups a move to China would entail.