Electric carmaker Tesla Motors said its flagship vehicle will have the same pre-tax price in China as in the US, after Chinese media criticised foreign companies for charging higher prices in the country.
The Tesla Model S sells for $81,070 in the US and the company will receive the same sum for it in China, the world’s biggest auto market.
Nonetheless the sticker price for the premium car will start from 734,000 yuan ($121,370), with the difference accounted for by $36,700 in taxes imposed by the Chinese government and shipping costs of $3,600, it said.
Tesla said the Chinese market could have absorbed a higher price for its cars and attacked rivals for charging more.
“We know that our competitors will try to convince Chinese consumers that our relatively lower price tag means the Model S is a lesser car, when the real reason their car costs more is that they make double the profit per car in China compared to the United States or Europe,” Tesla said.
Foreign brand vehicles have performed well in the China market, helped by perceptions of higher quality and better recognition, making the country a critical market for global automakers.
Tesla has received more than 200 pre-orders for its Model S and Model X in China, state media reported, but analysts say the company will face challenges from the slow development of the country’s electric car market.