Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is being proactively optimistic with regard to tackling unimpressive China sales, reassigning sales staff and making inroads with public figures.
As Automotive News put it, the electric carmaker fell into many of the same traps that plague any Western automaker might fall victim to upon initiating sales in China. For instance, many of China’s targeted wealthier denizens prefer being chauffeured to driving themselves; that was the real force behind Tesla Motors’ $2,000 executive rear seat option for the Model S, announced at the Detroit Auto Show this year. The automaker has been criticized for not tailoring the car to the Chinese market in other areas, as well, such as in terms of what popular apps are available on the Model S’ infotainment system.
But back in January, CEO Elon Musk cited other factors – such as an underperforming sales team – which ultimately led to an unsuccessful launch for Tesla Motors in the Asian market. He told a crowd of industry pundits that sales staff in the country had a tendency to echo customer concerns over a perceived difficulty to charge the car – a move he called “brain-dead,” not to mention untrue.
Currently, Elon Musk is visiting the country to make inroads with members of government in the hopes of having support in the future, and he’s already successfully lobbied several Chinese cities to make registering imported zero-emissions vehicles easier. But even after making Tesla Motors’ home charging stations – and now, even their installation – free to Chinese buyers, the misconception that the Model S is difficult to charge in a country with over 1,000 “destination” charging stations persists.