American electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors has started selling its Model S on Tmall, part of Chinese Alibaba. It is just in time for Singles Day, the world's largest shopping event.
Reach regular customer
To buy a Tesla Model S, one has to deposit 50,000 yuan (6,400 euro) on the website. The company has 18 non-customizable models on offer and it believes this is the ideal way to reach the average Chinese customer.
With Tmall, Tesla hopes to avoid a widespread Chinese network of dealers, which should save costs. American General Motors and German Volkswagen have already sold cars through Tmall and Chevrolet, a GM subsidiary, said it has sold 245 cars last month through Tmall, while GM hopes to link its Tmall site to more than 200 Chinese distributors. That way, it should be able to expand its service with second-hand cars for example.
Tesla's European head office is located in Dutch Tilburg, where it has started to manufacture part of its European Model S car park since the summer of last year. Tesla Motors, founded in 2003, has its main head office in California.