Tesla did not open its first showroom in mainland China in the spring as promised. But the delay will be short. The cars are already in place, ready to be unwrapped in a week or so. A Model S poster with the "Go Electric" slogan now covers the wall behind which installation is still going on.
The showroom is located in Parkview Green, a pyramid-shaped glass building close to the capital’s CBD and embassy district. It shares the ground floor with luxury labels including Van Cleef & Arpels, Roberto Cavalli, Camille Fournet, Neil Barrett, Stella McCartney, and Tadashi Shoji. One floor below, one can find Ivanka Trump.
“Tesla,” numbered 20, appeared in the store index of Parkview Green
As the Chinese government imposes high taxes on foreign goods (while providing no subsidies to imported EVs), the Model S is expected to double its list prices by crossing the Pacific. For the city choked by smog the pure-electric model will bring little relief, as few will buy it (just consider the Chevrolet Volt, which sells for an exorbitant amount of US$81,210 in China. Only one purchase has been reported since its local release in late 2011). Perhaps exactly for this reason, Tesla has chosen to set up the showroom in a place rarely visited by ordinary people, expecting its "top-down" approach to work here as well. At this stage it is all about brand building rather than sales.