Tesla basks in stellar performance in S. Korea on EV demand

July 3, 2020

Tesla Motors Inc. said Friday it posted explosive sales growth in South Korea this year on the back of growing appetite for electric vehicles and fat subsidies.

Tesla sold a total of 7,079 vehicles in the Korean imported passenger car market from January to June, a whopping increase from 422 units in the same period of last year, according to data from Tesla.

In June, the U.S. electric carmaker said it delivered a record 2,827 units on a monthly basis, sharply up from 121 units a year ago, helped by higher demand for the Model 3.

Among imported carmakers, Tesla ranked fourth in terms of sales last month, following Mercedes-Benz with 7,672 units, BMW’s 4,069 and Audi’s 3,401, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

This undated file photo provided by Tesla shows the Model X, Model S and Model X being charged by superchargers. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This undated file photo provided by Tesla shows the Model X, Model S and Model X being charged by superchargers. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Tesla Korea sells models, such as the Model 3, Model S and Model X in South Korea.

The Model 3, Model S and Model X are available at the starting prices of 54 million won (US$44,000), 114 million won and 121 million won, respectively.

Customers can purchase the models at lower prices with a central government subsidy of 8 million won and a provincial government subsidy worth up to 10 million won.

Since it entered the Korean market in March 2017, Tesla has built about 450 slow-charging stations and 32 superchargers across the country. It takes 10 hours to fully charge a Tesla vehicle with a slow charger, but it takes about an hour with a supercharger.

To further boost sales here, Tesla named a financial expert as country director for South Korea in May.

Kim Kyung-ho, 44, began his term at Tesla Korea on May 11 after serving as vice president at the Korean branch of U.S.-based bank State Street for 7 1/2 years.

Until Kim’s appointment, Yvonne Chan, Tesla’s country director for Taiwan, had supervised Korean operations as well.

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