The official reason given was that Tesla did not receive 'green' tax breaks from the Government, and so found it unviable to market their exotic electrically-charged sports cars locally.
Without the tax breaks, the Tesla Roadster would cost the better part of half a million Singapore dollars, but with the tax breaks, that figure might be reduced by as much as half, broadening its appeal to the car-buying population.
That said, Singapore hasn't exactly been well set-up in terms of infrastructure to cope with electric cars, at least not yet anyway. Charging stations are few and far between, and the problem of charging the cars for apartment-dwellers, which number the majority of Singapore's population, hasn't yet been fully resolved.
Tesla gave examples of how other Asian markets gave the American company 'enthusiastic support', such as Japan, which grants a 2.61million yen (S$40,000) rebate for each Tesla buyer, and Hong Kong and Malaysia, where electric cars are exempted from tax. For a country our size, and well-known for efficiency, Tesla's withdrawal seems like a bit of a farce.
We can only speculate the real reasons why Tesla decided to pull the plug on our local market, but for car enthusiasts with a green heart, the withdrawal of Tesla strikes yet another blow to our already dampening car scene.
On a personal note, I find myself slightly amused at the news. Because a while back, Tesla actually approached me for a position as their Singapore store manager.
Unfortunately, I didn't get past the interview stage. But imagine if I did clinch the job, I would be out of it now, without having done anything.
Instead, I now write about them on sgCarMart. It's funny how life turns out.