How big of a market is China for TM?

How big of a market is China for TM?

This is just one of many recent article detailing the smog in China.

If early adopters in CA is any indication, then the more affluent Chinese population should be jumping all over MS.

What if TM can accelerate Gen3 development, introduce electric buses, or electric bike? How much more market shares can TM capture in the ultra polluted market?

carlk | 23 oktober 2013

Sooner or later those Chinese cities will ban ICE cars on city streets. That will be a great opportunity for Tesla. London already has the ban for all gas and diesel powered cars and EU has a grand plan to do the same by 2050. China with the authoritarian system don't need to wait that long. They can impose the ban overnight when they see fit. People who buy MB or Audi there now should keep that in mind.

jonlivesay | 23 oktober 2013

China doesn't want Tesla to dominate their market. Maybe allow a small market share to keep up appearance of playing nice.

Car t man | 23 oktober 2013

China isn't afraid of Tesla because Tesla will not be reaching numbers that would mean dominance. China has a great interest in electric vehicle proliferation since it does not wan't to be hooked on oil.

Tesla can only halp that. China has some of the highest subsidies for electric vehicles in the world. 16.000 USD, etc..

Winnie796 | 25 oktober 2013

China will copy it!
Ask BMW who had their X5 copied and then lost the legal battle in a Chinese court. The Chinese have no scruples, none what-so-ever. It will be suicide for Tesla to go there. Maybe some short term gains until the Model S is copied then it will be game over.

Mathew98 | 25 oktober 2013

They can clone the exterior design but the internal mechanic is a whole different story.

The Chinese factories have cloned pretty much all the best selling foreign luxury design. But these clones could never pass any crash tests. Their performance can never match up to the originals either.

TM will have no problems going against water downed imitations.

bradslee | 25 oktober 2013

The real issue is not how big Chinese EV market is. China's smog problem has reached to a point where the breath with a clean air becomes luxury. Thus anything or any method can reduce the smog would be in great demand. Yet the real issue remains as whether Tesla can break the barrier built by the Chinese government. The delay of opening the first Chinese Tesla showroom in Beijing exemplifies the existence of such barrier.

Al1 | 25 oktober 2013

I doubt China will ban ICE cars. But it still is a great opportunity for Tesla. 60% of Tesla cars will sell in North America, 20% in China, 20% in Europe. How's that as a forecast?

bonaire | 25 oktober 2013

China is a proud country. Sometimes, proud by force. They live by the term "saving face". They want to copy and make much the stuff western society makes but make it themselves. They have various e-bikes, e-scooters, EVs and growing all the time. Tesla is expensive as an import - but there is always thought that Tesla will partner with and build cars in China longer-term once they can get the right partner. Tesla is still small in terms of cash-flow and is going to need to grow domestically in the USA and Europe first before a big expansion into Asia can commence. GM and F have to build cars in-country in order to compete there. And they compete well - with GM selling more units in China than in the USA.

bradslee | 25 oktober 2013

There was a news reported in China recently about the very first model S P85 bought by a wealthy young man from the east coast province of Zhejiang. He paid a total of 2.5M RMB (equivalent to $407,830) including all tariff and taxes for the fully loaded car. As a matter of fact, his MS was not bought inside China but was instead bought in Hong Kong and was imported into China. Since TM has not cleared all hurdles in China legally selling MS, this very first MS bought and imported by a Chinese citizen in China can only be viewed and admired but cannot be driven on Chinese road. How sad it is!

Mathew98 | 25 oktober 2013

@bonaire -

TM should NEVER partner with a local Chinese mfr. Partnership in China = license to steal. Once the locals gain the internal knowledge to produce the EV, they'll abandon the partnership and leave TM in the cold.

Why do you think some of the Chinese knockoffs are almost indistinguishable from the legitimate ones?

US companies contract Chinese factories to manufacture their products to spec and material during the day shifts. Then these factories produce knockoffs during night shifts using inferior materials while copying the same blue prints from the day shifts.

GeirT | 25 oktober 2013

Hold on... remember that China produces most of what US companies market?

China is difficult admittedly but handled right China is no different than for example nationalistic France or ... US for foreigners.

True, they steal you blind if you rush in and is "Mr.Know It All" but with a certain cultural connection and understanding China is the place where everything is possible. Just as it used to be in Europe a 100 years ago, the or US 50 years ago. Now both are in many weays more Soviet than the Soviet Union was, regulatory wise.

Geely will for certain try to copy - as they did with Rolls Royce, and what a bummer that was! - and there is a host of super good battery technology companies that also would like to partake in the exciting EV future.

Point is that in China, as everywhere else, nothing is as good the real deal. What are the cars roaming the streets of Beijing and Shanghai? Local Japanese varieties, Buick (a top brand!), Citroens, VW, Audi - all made locally. I think I once read that actually GM sells more cars in China than in the US. Correct me if I am wrong - but it is at least close to.

Tesla needs Proper People to handle their China business that knows western culture AND Chinese business culture to make this happen positively. Not to conquer the entire EV market potential but to get a fair share, and a huge part of the luxury market. It is indeed very possible.

I have stated it before in this forum and will repeat: rich people in China long for the Model S. It will be a huge statement. The number of rich people in China is more than what is in Europe and the US combined! They will not use the car between the regional capitals but locally, in their cities. The range 300 miles range is more than enough.

The Chinese "can do" attitude may easily develop new and exciting solutions for Tesla to move forward. Partnerships with extremely smart people can be forged.

I am no member of the Communist Party (what a joke! Old lenin is propelling in his mausoleum) but I have been working with and in China since 1984 (...also an irony) and do my business very well here. It is a matter of "behaving" according to local rules and expectations.

For westerners that is in general a HUGE problem. Don't blame the Chinese for being Chinese, blame your own unpreparedness and unpreparedness for doing business here. As allway and no matter where you are, you must know what you are doing!

A quick Amazon search on Chinese business literature is a good start for plenty a good advise.

Model S will do great in China! The GenIII more dubious as we have no idea what this is all about.
A dynamic market with growth and 1.4 billion people is somewhere to stay away from? Sure, if you are a museum custodian. Tesla is not, so just do it - but for Gods sake do it right!

Rheumboy | 25 oktober 2013

I opened a fortune cookie the other day which said "A happy Tesla is a pruged in Tesla" :-)

Mathew98 | 25 oktober 2013

@Rheumboy - Do you mean "plugged-in"? My chingrish is way off on this one...

Sorry, Brian H is slacking off...

Rheumboy | 25 oktober 2013

Yes prugged in...sorry

Cindy I II III | 25 oktober 2013

Elon said in one of the recent interviews that China has 54% of world's luxury sedan market. He and his electric cars will go there, independent of what this forum says or doesn't say:-)

My recent encounter with colleague from China is consistent with the high potential for Model S to do well there.

China is a place where anything can be possible and anything can be impossible.

Car t man | 25 oktober 2013

Gentlemen, like it or not, the global economy stands today because when the western bubble burst, China and subsequently India and Brasil managed to blow their bubbles with spending measures (which failed completely in western world initially), to replace the fall in global economic demand and activity.

In 2009 their sales of cars grew by 50% and for flats by 100%. They bought all the Fords, Chevys, GMs, Intel processors, etc.. we were too scared to buy then. Luxury brands were off by some 80% in spring of 2009 in developed world. It was only when investors saw Chinese buying that they calmed down a bit.

Without it, we would be at 40% unemployment and none of you would own a Tesla now. When one looks at US, China and Russia and is neither, one can instantly spot that all have people who grew up with an ideology which demonized the other. China has serious issues but some they are solving better than US.
US has issues and some are solved better than anywhere else. Russia is trying a bit of both and sometimes gets it right and sometimes doesn't.

As far as copying goes, US got loads of science and tech from German Nazi scientists, as did Russians, etc.. Tesla's technology isn't really Tesla's so one could argue they copied it, etc..

I'm just saying, those of you who are very emotional may just be a bit overly emotional on these topics. If China is anything for Tesla, then its a market. By far the first thing on the list. Chinese are already expensive now and don't want to be cheap labor. They put up with it to get to where the west is. Now, you are as much a manufacturer as a market for them and vice versa. Fear the day when either of the large markets fall because it takes everyone down with them. It is the 21st century. Old ideologies don't apply anymore. Today, China is every bit as likely to develop cures for cancers as EU or US, etc. Celebrate that. It could have gone another road.

Luckily, they chose the western approach, with their twist. So did Russians. We really are all fortunate the differences diminished by
so much.

Kaboom | 25 oktober 2013

I wish sometimes that western nations would impose sanctions and withold luxury goods against china until they stop their mass consumption of Shark fins, Ivory, Bear paws & gall bladders, Tiger balls, and rhino horns.

jajabor | 25 oktober 2013

Have you read about Goophone?

Mathew98 | 25 oktober 2013

It's tiger penis, not balls. They figurde the male organ from a ferocious animal is a cure for ED. There's never been any scientific proofs that it works.

You'll likely get served bulls balls or bull fighters balls in South America depending on the winner of the contest.

Al1 | 25 oktober 2013

Proud Chinese government wants Chinese companies to build good cars. But proud Chinese people do buy vars made elsewhere. They're going for the best and Tesla does offer the best. So I think it's matter of time.

"In July, Tesla’s Hong Kong branch received over 300 orders for the vehicle, surpassing the total number of electric cars currently in the city".

Brian H | 26 oktober 2013

The English idiom you were reaching for is "spinning in his grave", not "propelling".
And "advise" is the verb, with the z sound. "Advice" is the noun, with s sound. English has all sorts of compromises with phonetic spelling to accommodate its polyglot heritage and large homonym vocabulary.

Car t man | 26 oktober 2013

Animal treatment certainly is a weak spot for China (it is for cattle etc in US also and in some such parts) but China is actually pursuing a more strict regime for protection of rare species, etc. Every year they a are a little bit more strict. They prefer longer and softer transitions. I don't
think they want to anger 1 billion people if they can do without it in a
year or two longer.

Before the Olympics, it was nomal in China to spit on the floors, even in taxis, buses and restaurants. It was considered cleansing to the body.
Then in one year of public campaign, they moved the public away from that because they knew it would gross western visitors out, etc.

Imagine a large nation in Sim city :) They make slow but directed transitions.

Western countries don't impose any sanctions of luxury goods to China because it is the Chinese market that allowed survival to those goods manufacturers.

Chinese consumers do not like Chinese cars. They go straight for German and US cars. Some day that will change, especially with electric cars, where long history is not necessary but currently, they completely ignore Chinese cars. In China it is foreigners who work there who buy Chinese cars because they are cheap and actually very reliable now.

Taxi drivers put some 500.000 km on them without major faults. But the public, as with any transitional nation, strongly prefer imports. Of anything really.

Not advocating China, just trying to balance things. Americans have notions about Chinese and Russians and Russians and Chinese about Americans but to an outside observer, knowing both, it is different pages of same leaves and just funny sometimes.

GeirT | 26 oktober 2013

@ Brian H

Of course you are right, but remember I do the best I can with my 2. language skills. Now, propelling rather than spinning sound more... energetic don't you think? I like the potency and possibly why it came to me.

@ Car t man

2nd posting up: Spot on! I really, really would like westerners to understand that cultural differences, like them or not, is part of the equation, especially in the formulae for business success. The saying goes; "do in Rome as the Romans" and you bet it is likewise relevant "do in China as the Chinese".

From my decades long experience with and in China, to deal with that issue through someone closer to home is a smart move. Apple does this with Foxconn, my neighbour here in the Neihu district in Taipei. They produce all their i-stuff in China but controlled by the Taiwanese. Same with Wintek. Taiwanese has the western education and experience and the foundation of Chinese culture. The portal is here for safe access.

The point with all these repeated words is that I want people a) to stop demonising Chinese for giving us competition as that is blatantly silly and b) that I want Tesla to succeed in China just as VW/Audi and GM did and not fail flat on their face as Ford did, that tried, screwed up big time and failed horrendously. All related to culture. And sorry to say, but a China strategy is not best implemented through a Japanese office or venture as they try today... and understatement is that Japanese are not very popular in China (read Nanjing massacre etc.) Read the book on Ford and learn the lessons.

That said, I have no idea what Tesla do or plan in China but as the forum is somewhere to express praise, concerns and opinions, maybe, just maybe Elon reads some of this and pays a bit of attention?

Oh well. I am sure they'll do the right thing no matter our advise/opinions or not (but the Ford story was nasty...).

GeirT | 26 oktober 2013
coll1951 | 26 oktober 2013

China's air pollution problems are not caused by autos, they're caused by coal fired electric plants, and other industrial sources.

portia | 26 oktober 2013

@Rheumboy, sorry, you got your R and L confused people wrong, it's not the Chinese. (speaking as one)

Car t man | 26 oktober 2013

China is still coal dependent but unlike in US, where lobbies are making coal stick, in China Coal tycoons are the ones investing in wind, etc. They grew fond of western perks, clean environment like in EU and parts of US included, and want to have it domestically. They learn quickly. Shortly after 2000, Beijing allowed only new large cars into center, to show progress. Shortly after, they figured out that that isn't good for them and pulled an 180 on it and began promoting cleaner cars. And they have car wrecks on many crossings, to remind people of driving more safely, etc..

Where China is ahead of US, is that it isn't really as rigid. If a republican or democrat say something, they need to stick with it for life or are attacked as flip floppers, traitors and other silly mind farts. In China, if something isn't working as planned, they change it, without heads rolling if the intent was good.

During the collapse, one of the economy ministers or secretaries issued a decree that all government officials need to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, as a protective measure for the tobacco industry, which, even though being disgusting, employs a lot of people and was in danger of collapsing also. A week or so later, the health minister overturned it because the health costs and factors overweighed. No heads rolled since that secretary had good intentions in mind but the choice was not optimal.

In US, moronic shananigans would take place, instant ideological crap would be formed and politicians would be throwing fecies around...

One of the weaknesses in US is that the political system is so divided (on purpose) that parties are actually willing to sabotage the nation, if it means weakening the other party. Soviets are gone, so parties are screwing each other.. Republicans actually introduced a law or some measure last year, they never wanted to pass, but it was supposed to make democrats, who were expected to be against it, look bad. And democrats then intentionally supported it, so republicans scrambled to pull it in last minutes. And the other way around happens often also. That right there is idiocy that might
kill the global economy one day.

Just too much of that and it is dragging the US down. In 2000, US was about 30% of global economy. Now it is 20%. And reputation suffered greatly under Bush and with snooping, now Obama isn't helping either.

China and Russia are far from having things sorted, but over recent years, they have been improving (in most issues anyway), but US has bizzarely stalled or fallen in past decade and that sucks for everyone. I don't mind competition among US, China, Russia and others, if the competition is in
improving things. Great if Chinese kick US and EU arse in deploying clean tech. The only reason you are seeing electric cars proliferating is because western car manufacturers know Chinese will pursue it and leave them behind if they don't finally move their asses.

I wish there was more positive competition than the kind that goes on between democrats and republicans, which should have been extinct with the 20th or earlier centuries.

carlk | 26 oktober 2013

@GeirT Apple and other companies actually were not involved and did not start the China manufacturing trend by themselves. Those Taiwanese companies did. They were already the dominate component suppliers when they started to explore the Chinese manufacturing possibilities. Apple just went along with the proposal because it turned out to be the most cost effective way for them too.

Do we still need those middlemen now that Chinese infrastructure is well established? Likely so. It easier to deal with Taiwanese (or Hong Kong) companies which more closely adheres to western business practices and ethics and let them to deal with the way Chinese do business. My company, an American company owned by a Japanese corporation, has significant factory presense in China but the Chinese operation is headquartered cross the border in Hong Kong with Hong Kong employees. A lot of things they know how to do Americans and Japanese don't or can't.

That however is not an option for Tesla because they don't use middlemen or distributors. Tesla has no choice but to directly set up the China operation which can be very challenging. They may eventually learn how to do things there but that likely will take a while. That seems to be the way it looks now.

GeirT | 26 oktober 2013

@ carlk
You are of course correct, that Taiwanese have been established i China for a long time and actually were significantly present in textile, even dominant in IT etc. Same goes for Hong Kong even Singapore to a degree. (Singaporeans are considered arrogant so even cross cultural sensitivity to be considered).
My point with my 'rant' was that a Tesla strategy have to involve partners that are culturally proficient, and in my mind it was more related to the quality of their own organisation. The middleman as you point out is likely not an option for Tesla and I believe that is a very good decision.

Car t man | 27 oktober 2013

China is too expensive now. Tesla would have done it, had they began production a decade ago. Now, companies produce locally because it is more convenient to manufacture locally in large markets. Like BMW began production in US years ago, even though many thought Spartanburg made cars would be crap.

Even Apple,... manufacturing in China for global markets is largely inertia. It isn't really notably more expensive to produce in US, especially transport and other factors included in the end cost.

Where people still go wrong today (because of lack of understanding of global economics) is in thinking bringing production "home" etc.. solves anything. It is just political "patriotic" bull. The Chinese who have jobs producing for
US consumers, buy US made goods in the ends. Money circulates and things work.

Noone in US, EU and Japan wanted the jobs Chinese had in past decades. It is only when economies collapse and unemployment grows when people want those jobs and usually the blame game starts. Not to mention in is not hard working people aren't to blame but very few very well dressed and spoken white men are. The ones that look like myself. Lets be fair.

Those hard working Chinese guys allowed US consumers cheap goods without inflation. Now, they are even. Now they want to travel, have cars, apartments, etc also. And Teslas :)

Even if a Chinese company copied Tesla's car to the bone, Chinese would buy the original. Westerners would be the ones who would want to buy a cheaper copy. Chinese made fakes and counterfeits for westerners. Chinese don't touch them. They want originals and some sell their kidneys for the overhyped crap that the iPhone is.

A decade ago, Chinese had no clue what design is. And had no word for free time. Now they win Pritzker prizes for architecture, art prizes, etc.
Next, I want the North Koreans and Iranians to do so, because when they do, it means they are like us and have too much to lose to try and harm us.

If you want N Korea to stop being a threat, we need to give them an economy on a plate, the kind so good, they won't want to sacrifice..

The global collapse taught even the dumbest of politicians that we are all in the same boat. Well, not all. Some still play with ideologies to the point where it can collapse. Lately US politicians got closer to that than Kim Il Jong ever did. Not appreciating it. I would say Elon for president but in such a misaligned political system, he wouldn't be able to do much anyway. Tesla and Space X really are the best of US. It isn't China that is trying to crush Tesla. It is domestic foes. Chinese know value and knowledge when they see it. They are the ones buying 123, Fisker, etc..
They are the ones with record subsidies for electric cars.

In Shanghai you can't even get a registration plate for regular cars anymore. Only for electric...

Elon thinks Germany is the largest foreign market for Tesla. I think it will be China and quite soon.

Brian H | 27 oktober 2013

He said Germany would be #3, 1st after the US & China.

Car t man | 27 oktober 2013

I missed that. China will be No1 sooner or later. Lets just hope they don't change the design to match the tastes and that those tastes mature first. Many makers began adjusting cars for the not yet matured Chinese car tastes which makes many of those cars quite ugly. As that is improving each year, hopefully Tesla skips this step.

carlk | 27 oktober 2013

@Car t man I beg to differ what you said that China's rise is all good for us. Not saying they don't deserve what they have accomplished but there have been a lot of economic harm done to US in the process. I remember there was a big push toward robotic and automation in the late 80's. All that was put on hold when corporations discovered cheap and abundant Chinese labor force which can save them more money than automated plants could. The automation seems to be coming back now but that and associated higher pay jobs will mostly happen in China, or some even newer developing countries, instead of US because that's where all the manufacturing activities are.

One silver lining is US still holds the key design and engineering lead and can control where manufacturing goes. Apple for example just announced that new Mac Pro will be made in the US, probably through partnership with Foxxcon. Well I should say assembled instead of made since Apple products were never made in China. Most of the key components were from Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean or US suppliers. Where it is assembled is mostly symbolic but it's a good start. Hopefully that will start a trend and leads to improved training of new engineers and skilled workers and provide more opportunities for our kids in the future. That's what this economy needs even when all the focus are on the internet related industries now.

The last thing I want to say is how ironic it is those hard working Chinese factory workers, which I have great sympathy and admiration of, will never be able to afford an iPhone they made while few people on top of the food chain could buy Tesla mostly due to efforts those workers put in the last couple of decades. I guess that’s how capitalism works. We in US are not immune to that either.

Car t man | 28 oktober 2013


US got what it wanted from the "deal" with China. US "workers", just like Europeans, don't really want to work in production or do jobs which can and could be replaced by robots or cheaper labor. We never complain as long as unemployment is low. We begin to bitch and remember the good old days when unemployment grows due to excessive greed (moderate greed is OK and is a vital component of keeping the economy going) and fraud on highest levels, which can induce collapses.

Low Chinese labor costs prevented US inflation which would occur if goods were made in EU and US, which would require higher interest rates, which would keep value of US household property and stock markets much lower, meaning a lower standard and less desirable jobs for US and European population.

EVERYTHING in global economics is a trade off. Ideological optics (the kind every school child is incepted with in any populous nation such as US, Germany, France, Italy, India, China..) always projects some level of own superiority and injustice in every aspect where others have something that is more, and as everything being OK, if that someone's nation has something that is more. In short, an average US, Russian, Chinese, Indian.. citizen has no real capacity of being completely objective in terms of seeing the big picture. Trust me, listening to a Russian or a Chinese citizen of similar education, sounds the same but with roles switched on those topics.

You only see the cost side to your economy but not the benefit side. Chinese also bankroll the US economy and the bubble, even though it is difficult to grow a developed economy since you already have a house, mobile phone, multiple cars, etc.. It creates a problem since we don't need
to have 15 mobile phones, 10 cars and 5 houses each, which would enable continuous stable high growth in developed markets. So we create artificial segments of economies such as overgrown financial services, etc.. which are all fine as long as money circulates but because they are fundamentally unnecessary, they deflate quickly during a severe collapse. Most financial services, dog walkers, catering, etc.. aren't really necessary so today's economy is much more prone to a complete collapse into a depression with unemployment far above levels seen in Great depression, due to so much of the developed economies being about luxury and not necessity.

Developed economies are now rigged to collapse because existing tools can only build and unreliably maintain bubbles. It can all be gone within a year. Realistically. The problem with the Chinese, Indians, etc. isn't what you think it is. The real problem is that during this collapse, they became like us and next time, they might all crash and burn with us, with no other backup. Stop viewing the economy as something that is US, Chinese, etc.

EU is 22% of global economy, US is 20%, China much less, Brasil some 7%, I think, etc. For every negative thing you see, you are receiving some benefit you don't know because your optic is a national one to some or extensive degree and therefore automatically an ideological one (no pun or anything as such intended) which does not recognize or see those benefits. This is completely normal for any US, Chinese or Russian citizen.

Economics are the most underdeveloped "science" because they are based on national economics mostly, since US cannot operate EU's or China's resources or vice versa, so optics are fragmented by default and with that also wrong by default. Patriotic views on any economy also mean not seeing its weakness, which is why so few in US could predict its collapse.

What I am trying to say is that you have no option of understanding a "competing economy" correctly until you view US, Russia, China, etc as a member of either. Only when you get to an optic above that, can you really see the flows, etc. You're too much of a US athlete against Chinese and Russian athletes, to have the view of a referee. That is the clearest one.

The best thing about China bankrolling US is that now the US and China can't really have serious or armed conflicts because neither can afford it. Economic intertwining is the best cure for ideological madness on either side. China too has stopped obsessing with Taiwan (for now), which could also collapse the global economy in any conflict or standoff. It seems they know better now. During discussions about debt ceiling, I get the feeling that some US politicians even now still don't get their part.

The proper ideology for the 21st century, in my mind, is not having one, or certainly not one as narrow as a national one of any kind. The second you consider yourself a democrat, republican, American, Russian, Chinese etc. you are already half wrong on most issues because most of these narrowed groups are are dead wrong on about half of global issues at any given moment. So why subscribe to any single one of them individually?

Just so you understand my view. I view all nations equally critically for both the good and the bad. It is why it bothers me if I get a feeling that US lowered its bar, instead of raising it, for China and Russia to follow.

GeirT | 28 oktober 2013

It is a matter of Comparative Advantage, meaning allocating resources most efficiently. Adam Smith described this in Wealth of Nations: "If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them with some part of the produce of our own industry, employed in a way in which we have some advantage."

Something to think about.

Car t man | 28 oktober 2013

Exactly. It is best to view China and US as Florida and Illinois. No need to think of them as part of different nations in terms of economics. And while Illinois and Florida can fall and US survive, if China falls, we're all screwed. It doesn't mean they are good, bad or anything specific. It is an economic reality. Just like when US falls, we're all on the same ride.

Once we're all in the same ride and for the long run, it is best to focus on who is good at what and adapt to it. I think we will soon miss the time when Chinese wanted to make cheap goods for us since we will now need to do it (probably for them also). And those goods will be more expensive..

Careful what you wish for.. Don't wish ill on US, China, Russia or anyone. Just wish all keep their heads screwed on tight enough not to start conflicts and idiotic ideological pursuits. Then we're all fine.

The very fact there is demand for Teslas in China, tells you something is going in the right direction there. One of the early clues Chinese weren't ideological nuts was when they established their mobile phone industry, artificially creating some 9 manufacturers around year 2000, which were supposed to be global within a few years. Huawei and ZTE actually are now more or less. But it was a strong signal they are going the western way, want global corporations with own brands, higher standard for its people, etc. It meant they are like us, want the same stuff, etc.. which is all great.

And if we go back to Tesla. Chinese, if Tesla manages to market pitch the cars as a luxury product, will only want originals. The only downside for Chinese is that in their current state of cultural development, they think one absolutely needs a personal driver or is a loser. So many won't drive their own Teslas and will only sit in the back of the longer version.

So they will actually miss out on the fun stuff. The very reasons why this car is one of the few man made products, that brings even more satisfaction over time. But hey, if that "prestige" means so much to them, so be it..

carlk | 28 oktober 2013

@Car t man

"US "workers", just like Europeans, don't really want to work in production or do jobs which can and could be replaced by robots or cheaper labor. " Huh???? Who are the workers that produced Tesla cars here in Fremont? Let's try not to stereotyping any people.

I'm all for global economy and world peace but this is not a perfect world (yet). China did not get to where she is today by setting her trade and monetary policies fair to all countries either. The fact that Tesla is having a much harder time to start selling cars there than in western world countries, even Germany which will suffer the most by the increasing popularity of Tesla, clearly attests to that.

Result of last two decade's economic activities benefited US corporations and Chinese elite class much more than common citizens here in the US and even in China. That's where I'm coming from. I don't know what's your agenda but l can easily guess what it is. Let's just agree to disagree and go back to see how Tesla can meet the China challenge and sale loads of cars there.

Cindy I II III | 28 oktober 2013

Dear Car t man and GeirT, it's a pleasure reading your debates :-)

What do you guys do?

Car t man | 28 oktober 2013


No agenda other than sharing a view, because I get bothered a bit, when seeing any kind of bashing of US, Russia, China,.. (well mostly these three, since others aren't as "problematic" :)

You can check out the forums of employees and will find that Tesla workers on assembly would much prefer that was automated and that they could work in marketing, design and engineering and get to drive the cars. Just how it is. And I believe in automation during very low unemployment, if it takes over repetitive, dangerous and stressful jobs. I am certain that if on a Russian or Chinese forum, I would (and I would but don't speak the languages) try to balance their similar takes on US, many there would suspect an agenda.

And taking a macroeconomic picture does in fact look like stereotyping quite often since it is actually pooling groups together statistically.

Tesla isn't having a harder time in China. As far as I know, Tesla is itself timing a late entry, trying to get it right, pitching the cars right and not screwing it up as it can make or break the market. Tesla initially looked at China as a sourcing place but found it is expensive. Then it dis the right thing and focused on it as a market. But it will need to sell stretched limos since the affluent Chinese are driven by chauffeurs.

To be fair, US did not get to where it is today by being spotless etc either. Big nations, big tracks. Some of them positive, some much less so.
You are correct, the world isn't perfect yet. You will agree though that most of us have higher expectations of US than of China and Russia.

If you think I overestimate China, know that I view all large nations as weak since they all ride the same collapsible economies, need to fake and stage theater over that fact and are caught into running from possible economic downturns or collapses. I don't see nations as great. The world isn't perfect and no nation really meets my criteria of a great nation. Not yet anyway. Each have their own benefits and I chose to cherry pick them.

As for benefiting elites, in US it has been weighed more at elites while real earnings of general population stalled. In China and Russia they grew. But that is also largely a result of their stage of development. E Europe also had that attribute before economies maturing.

You mentioning an agenda is a bit what I was talking about earlier. A US, Russian or Chinese citizen has been subject to the competitive upbringing in the sense of competition among these nations. It means each assumes competitive attempts in any action. Even in forums etc. This is the reflex preventing Russians, Chinese and Americans from properly measuring each other. It is a "professional deformation of sorts".

I would not be sucked into having an agenda for any single global nation or bloc because NONE have what all could have with some intelligent 21st century optimizations, replacing the stale old ideological boundaries.
If the world is was a car and US, China, Russia, EU, Brazil,.. etc were its components (which they are, when you strip away ideologies), it would be a horrendous clunker. If it was a Tesla, it would have an inverter which would try to short the motor, a motor which would try to set the batteries on fire, suicidal tires, trying to blow out to take out the entire car because they don't like the door handles and a radio which would never play the music the occupants would like just to piss them off.. That is our not so perfect planet right now :)

In any case, have you found any article or interview where Tesla would be citing local trouble from side of Chinese government for sales there? I didn't notice it and am interested. I only read stuff about not yet being ready to enter, a while ago etc.


pleased you are enjoying it. I am a macro economist, EV enthusiast and I was also a producer in field of technological contemporary arts on the side. If anything is related to pinnacles in arts, technology and science, I'm interested :)

carlk | 28 oktober 2013

@Car t man Guess what? I'm pretty sure you're Chinese or someone deeply involved with China but most likely the former. I have met many people in China and in US like you and they all say the same thing like you did. Nothing wrong with that, that's why I offered to agree to disagree, but why hide it? Tell me so if I am wrong about you.

GeirT | 28 oktober 2013


I am a partner in a company with production in Taiwan and a joint venture in China. Started my experience in China in 1984 by attending the Guangzhou Spring and Autumn Fairs, at the time the only window for foreigners to do business there. That changed quickly when the difference between white and black cats did not matter as long as they catch mice ;-) Deng XiaopIng's releasing words - and China never looked back.

Brian H | 29 oktober 2013

So, anyone wealthy enough in China to afford an MS will be disqualified from driving it, for fear of status loss? So sad. I anticipate sneak treks into the countryside ...

Captain_Kong | 29 oktober 2013

There are just 2 numbers one would need to know about Tesla's market potential in China:

- Chinese passenger vehicle market for 2013 will be around 20m new vehicles sold
- What % of this market does Tesla wants to capture?

The fact that China is already the single largest market for S-class, 7-series, Panameras, Quattraporte are almost irrelevant...

Car t man | 29 oktober 2013


I am someone deeply involved with US, EU, China and Russia. Whenever either screw with ideologies, something bad happens to myself, my finances and
my quality of life. So I want all to simply stay put and not do anything, unless it is optimizing mutual relations and economics, as opposed to any
kind of warfare, snooping, paranoid subversive sabotage, etc.

My first time in China was New Years from 2008/9. So I must be 4 years old :) I could swear I am also a bit pale and tall for a Chinese guy, not to mention I don't speak the language and can't use chopsticks without most food landing on my lap. Come on, come to the "dark side" and have a bit more of an international optic, rather than a national view. Its fun.

And I did find in another post of yours that you mention bad China for setting limits on rare earths. It is accurate but important to note that rare earths are a dirty business (pollution and health wise, which is why developed nations abandoned mining them altogether and liked that China risked their workers and environment for it as long as it was cheap) and China is the last in a long line of nations using a bargaining chip for trade wars, such as ones between OPEC members, developed markets tech export limits, etc. For China, it was a "me too" moment, when they announced it.

I like that you see that it joined the game, I just don't like that you are completely blind to US, OPEC, Russia and other players doing it since forever basically. Chinese are amateurs compared to US and Russia in terms
subversive behavior, sabotage, etc, except for cyber warfare, where they likely are on par. It is moronic that they all try to find ways how to use each other's weaknesses against each other as opposed to leveraging each other's strengths for mutually strengthening each other. As long as that doesn't happen, global diplomacy will remain primitive.

It is why I take at least minor offense in you trying to still mate me to any individual nation or ideology. As mentioned, I think they are all
outdated and too limiting intellectually to be acceptable. To myself anyway.

I don't think US or China are "it". They are just Coke and Pepsi. Sometimes I will have a Coke, sometimes a Pepsi and most of the time something else but will never even really respect either in their existing flawed forms.

Today, corporations, nations, religions and ideologies are just brands, peddling their particular product or brand. I just don't limit myself to any. They are all like big auto. Seen, stale, even primitive. Maybe I give the newcomers some initial pass, as I do Tesla for being a startup I guess.
Your or their ideology as a whole are what an ICE feels to a Tesla driver.

By the way, this is the kind of stuff China is disappointing at:

Feel free to bash this as it is just stupid and they act like crybabies. It is a stark reminder why nations shouldn't get too tied to China or be too reliant on it, because they are willing to use leverage for getting things
to be their way. Again, much like US or Russia.

I honestly don't understand how in the 21st century anyone can even look at a large system like US, China, Russia, Pepsi, Walmart and be all in somehow.
Too many flaws and negative tracks. I am a consumer. I want the good where I can get it and say no thanks to the crap offered along. I don't want the fries with that...

Yes, in China you don't even want to roll into the first important meeting driving yourself (later on, it is OK), because it gives the impression of lacking success. They have outdated views on some such things. Think of what was cool in US and Europe decades ago. They will grow out of it quickly. Tesla owners could be among the first ones due to fun factor.

Think of it as loving "bling" but it will mature over time.

Car t man | 29 oktober 2013

I tried linking the address of a link describing how China is being petty towards Norway for giving a Nobel prize to a Chinese dissident in 2010 and is just acting childishly. The spam filter on this forum doesn't let me link to the news article so just write China Norway relations into Google.

It is a prime example of how China (again, like US or Russia) acts like a douche only too often. Reminds me of the Snowden issue with US and many
such issues with Russia and weird poisonings of Russian exiles..

That is why I prefer to look at all three as markets and focus on the positive side and economics. If viewed based on ideology and behavior internationally, all three are douches. I would add EU but EU is too impotent to be a douche.

carlk | 29 oktober 2013

@Car t man Hmmm...that's good to know but I still could not figure out why your English is so ESL.

GeirT | 29 oktober 2013

@ Car t man

"I would add EU but EU is too impotent to be a douche." - hear, hear!!!

Alex K | 29 oktober 2013

@Car t man | OCTOBER 29, 2013: The spam filter on this forum doesn't let me link to the news article so just write China Norway relations into Google.

As far as I know, this news forum does not have any automatic spam filters. Are you trying to post this from China? Here is a link to a China-Norway relations remain frosty article.

Car t man | 29 oktober 2013


not Chinese :) some people simply like to look at things from a perspective cleansed of any national view. I like a clearer picture.

My English suffers from the fact that I speak a few languages and understand a few more and that I think in more than one language. Chinese isn't one of them.
I would like to, but am not willing to study it at this point in time.

I get by though even in China as in other nations where I don't speak the language. In the end you act like a chicken if you want chicken in the dish instead of extra veggies.

@Alex K
I tried submitting my text and it wouldn't let me until the link was in it and informed me that a spam filter kicked in. As soon as I submitted without it, it was OK and when I tried again in the immediate subsequent post, it complained again. Thanks for linking.

Now, I would like to shut up a bit about my views etc and maybe return the topic to Chinese market and Tesla. Even I am tired of myself. Start bashing
US or Russia, so I start defending those two for a change :)

carlk | 29 oktober 2013

@Car t man I don't expect you to come clean so you don't even need to try. After all this is the internet forum anyone can be what he/she wants to be. Peace.