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Why does no-one in Hong Kong want a Tesla anymore?

11 Jul 2017 | By Gogona Saikia
Is Tesla losing Hong Kong, a prime market?

Tesla seems to be losing one of its biggest markets. After Hong Kong withdrew tax breaks for electric vehicles (EV), enthusiasm of owning a Tesla has dipped drastically.

In fact, not one new Tesla car was registered in April, the month when the new tax policy came into force.

Though first-time registrations don't exactly equal sales, it is nevertheless a prime determinant.

In context: Is Tesla losing Hong Kong, a prime market?

11 Jul 2017Why does no-one in Hong Kong want a Tesla anymore?

Policy effectPrice has increased by nearly $50,000

Earlier, with tax breaks for EV owners, a Tesla Model S 60 cost $72,900. But since April 1, the waiver has been capped at $12,500, and that too, only for first-time owners.

So the same model now costs $118,400 - same as a Mercedes-Benz.

In March, just before the policy was implemented, there were 2,939 first-time registrations of Tesla, five times that of February.

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But Tesla says the dip is to be expected

TeslaBut Tesla says the dip is to be expected

But Tesla maintains that Hong Kong remains a "significant market" for it. It also said it didn't rely on government policies, but acknowledged cost of its cars have increased "by nearly 100%".

"It's expected that demand will be impacted in the period immediately following the change, particularly because of the large number who bought just prior to the change being implemented," it said.

Is China the next Hong Kong for Tesla?

Meanwhile, it seems the company is looking at mainland China as its next big market, where it would be able to evade taxes as high as 50% of the car's price. Last year, China registered 352,000 new EVs, compared to 159,000 in the US.