It's not exactly news when Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk talks big, but his prediction that sales of the Model S electric vehicle in China will require the California-based company to build a factory there is pretty substantial. Musk tells Bloomberg News that Tesla's sales in China could equal those in the US as soon as 2015. Could is the operative word here, though, since he backed off a tad by calling his production more "low fidelity" than firm. Still, Musk says demand will be strong enough that a factory in China could become a reality in the near future.
Tesla recently set the price for the Model S in China at at about $121,000, which is about a 50-percent price premium compared to the US. And while that sounds steep, the extra cost is actually less than the doubling (relative to US) that usually happens when cars and trucks are imported in China. Looks like Musk wants to sell some cars in the People's Republic.
Tesla finished strong in the US last year, moving about 6,900 of its battery-electric Model S sedans during the last three months of 2013. That made it the best-selling US plug-in vehicle during the fourth quarter. We'll be tracking when that same feat is achieved in China.