Tesla’s vice president of Asia-Pacific Ren Yuxiang told the South China Post that China is the second-largest market for Tesla Model 3 reservations.
It’s not clear which country is the largest market for Tesla Model 3 reservations since the company began last month, but it’s almost certainly the U.S.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the company has taken “some 400,000” pre-orders for the Model 3. Ren Yuxiang did not disclose Chinese pre-order numbers, but did comment on China’s market overall as it related to Tesla.
“The potential is huge,” he said, “and Tesla is fully committed to developing the Chinese market.”
Chinese buyers will have to pay a higher deposit (about $9,570), and it’s likely the Model 3 will take longer to go on sale in that country, possibly not arriving until late 2018 or early 2019.
On the other hand, Tesla president Jon McNeill did visit China last week, and he did say that a Tesla production facility in China was a possibility, and Musk has said he’d like to find a location for a plant, as well as a local manufacturing partner, by the middle of this year.
When it comes to the frenzy over pre-orders for the Model 3, it’s worth noting that the maximum amount of cars one can place a deposit on is two per form. Investor Anton Wahlman placed 20 orders on the Model 3, and said that if the ordering system allowed for unlimited reservations, then it was possible that investors were gaming the system in anticipation of raising new capital.
Tesla responded by cancelling those orders and saying that only 0.2 percent of orders taken were duplicates over the two-car limit, also saying that only about 5 percent of orders involve two cars.
So while there may be some uncertainty on exactly how many cars have been ordered – in China or overall – if Tesla’s numbers are close to accurate, that means China will be a strong market for the Model 3.