Today Tesla Motors began selling its Model S on Alibaba, joining General Motors and Volkswagen in selling vehicles on the Chinese shopping portal. All an enterprising consumer needs to do is make a 50,000-yuan ($8,200) deposit through Alibaba’s Tmall.com site.
Tesla China spokeswoman Peggy Yang says, “Tmall offers us an opportunity to reach out to general customers.”
According to Bloomberg, Tesla began deliveries of the Model S to China in April, but the automaker’s interest in Alibaba much to do with cutting down the time to infiltrate the Chinese market since setting up a network of dealerships requires plenty of time and money. Even in the U.S., Tesla is known for their lean sales organization.
“We know that it’s a big, big challenge for all car manufacturers to penetrate into the huge mainland,” says the head of Ipsos, Klaus Paur. “This plays perfectly into their strategy. Tesla came into the market doing things differently.”
A total of 18 pre-configured cars are being offered through the marketplace, added Yang.
A month ago, Alibaba made headlines around the world due to its remarkable initial stock offering.