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Tesla pulls out from Singapore

By BenCee on 15 Feb 2011

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So, Tesla have announced their withdrawal from the Singapore market, after six months here and having not sold a single car. What a pity.

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.

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Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...

  • 1
StevenSteven Feb 15 2011 07:47 PM
You didn't get past the interview stage for a shop manager but were picked up to write on this site? Yes, that speaks volumes.

Have Tesla sold any cars anywhere to anyone that wants to go further than 3 miles in a day?
Bennylee Feb 16 2011 12:52 AM
No surprised so far ! Tesla is not stupid enough to provide EDB with all its technical and trade secrets ! Because that's the matter !
To be eligible to Tides, manufacturer have to provide EDB with all the technical details, manufacturing process, quality control... all with pictures etc... in other words this is a real intelligence operation under cover of a tax break for test bedding participation !

Always the same issue with Singapore, you are welcomed if you are famous, coming with plenty of $$$, create jobs for locals and disclose all your secret ! Indeed, no R&D is done in Singapore, the R&D there is coming from the brain of the expatriates or from intelligence of any state owned company or institution ! Without foreign MNCs and expat brains, nothing would happen !

This is not a win win situation for new comers ! Happy to read that Tesla didn't fall into the trap !

On a general manner, Singapore should urgently change its behavior towards new comers with new techs ! welcome doesn't mean theft !
Viceroymenthol Feb 28 2011 03:17 AM
Steven, you're a riot!

I have enjoyed reading your funny comments so far. Keep it up!
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