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Tesla response: Navigation on the way for Chinese customers and more

June 30, 2014

A Tesla spokesperson got back on some questions I had regarding the RMB 1 million price tag for a Tesla in China as well as the unavailability of navigation and other features in China. Tesla is working on a China nav system “as Google maps are not supported” in China, said the spokesperson. I wonder if Tesla knew this when it went in and decided to deliver models without fully functioning infotainment? Perhaps. Will be interesting to see who it worked with in China for a nav system and when it is released.

See below for full Tesla response. I await details from China on what extras the RMB 1 million Model S had….

Tesla response:

Our goal is to ensure Model S remains fairly priced and our margin is consistent in every market worldwide. We begin with the US price of $81,070 (85 kWh), add shipping and handling ($3,600), Taxes and duties ($19,000), and VAT ($17,700) and then convert at an exchange rate of 6.05 to reach our base 85kWh price of 734k CNY.

While I obviously don’t know the configuration of your friend’s Model S, if they have already taken delivery of their vehicle, they purchased the 85 kWh or P85 kWh Model S (although we’ve started selling 60 kWh Model S, deliveries of this car have not yet started in China). The P85 starts at RMB 852,500 (85 kWh starts at 734K). These prices are inclusive of all VAT, import duties, and transportation costs.

However this is only the base price without any options. Even if the customer bought the 85kWh, he/she most likely added some options. Here are just a few available to give you an idea of additional costs:

- Dual charger (RMB 13,200)

- Tech Package with Air Suspension (RMB 42,600)

- Parking sensors (RMB 4,400)

- Nappa leather interior (RMB 21,900)

- Alcantara headliner (RMB 13,200)

- Hi-fi sound system (RMB 21,900)

So in terms of the pricing, even if the customer bought the 85kWh, the price is close to RMB 900K with a few options. If the customer bought a P85, the price can become RMB 1 million.

Regarding the second part of your question, currently there isn’t a navigation system in Chinese Model S as Google maps are not supported in the country. However, teams are currently working on a solution with Chinese text and voice recognition. We plan to introduce navigation to Chinese cars later this year (as already communicated to our customers). Once it’s available, maps will be pushed to customers’ vehicles through software updates.

In regards to your final question, remote over-the-air software updates are not yet supported in Chinese Model S. Software updates are pushed to customers’ vehicles through our backend system, and owners then receive notification of available updates on the Model S touchscreen. In fact, we’ve already released a couple minor updates which add additional functionalities to Chinese cars.

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