Tesla CEO Elon Musk is ready to make a big splash in China – so big he boasted he’ll be making cars in the world’s most populous region for at least three to four years.
Though the market in China has potential to be big, it is relatively untested for electric cars. In fact, the Chinese government has struggled in getting people to go green even though the Chinese environment and its heavily polluted air is paying the price for all of its residents.
However, Musk plans to go big or go home. He’s already investing in a large network of battery charging stations, two of which include superchargers in Beijing and Shanghai.
Speaking at the well-attended Geekpark Conference in Beijing Monday, Musk said “China is very important to the future of Tesla.”
“At some point in the next three to four years we’ll be establishing local manufacturing in China,” the billionaire said. “We’re going to make a big investment in China in terms of charging infrastructure.”
Producing locally allows Musk and company to sell cars at cheaper prices by avoiding China’s 25 percent import tariff.
Musk hopes to sell as many cars in China as he has in the U.S. by as early as next year.
President of J.D. Power & Associates Finbarr O’Neill thinks Tesla can get the job done.
“I think they can sell quite a few here in the market,” O’Neill said. “There’s a lot of talk about Tesla but, you know, their numbers are not huge. Mr. Musk has been successful in many fields. I wish him luck, but there’s a limit to every market.”
Tesla was expected to actually start delivering cars in China this week.