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Tesla News: US Electric Car Maker Struggles to Land in Korean Market

By February 6, 2017 at 7:02 am
Tesla (Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

After announcing last year that it is planning to open up a Korean showroom, Tesla is still having a hard time entering the market. It was supposed to unveil the showroom at Gyeonggi Province but it has been struggling to get its electric cars into South Korea.

It appears that Tesla has failed to satisfy the standards put in place by the Korean government. Industry sources revealed to The Korea Times that the Model X sports vehicle and the Model S sedan has failed to meet consumer subsidies for electric vehicles. Tesla has yet to address the issues.

South Korea's Ministry of Environment is willing to offer 12 million to 19 million won in subsidies for every EV purchased. However, the government is contemplating on dishing out the amount for an EV that should charge with a 7-kilowatt-hour charger in less than 10 hours. This may be the problem that Tesla is struggling to resolve.

Koreans who reportedly made orders for the Tesla Model 3 through the Tesla Korea website have allegedly said they will cancel their orders if the government doesn't grant consumer subsidies to the U.S.-based manufacturer. Aside from subsidies, Tesla will also have to resolve safety concerns raised in its home turf.

Last year in May, a driver was killed while driving his Tesla Model S on autopilot mode. The driver's electric vehicle collided with a truck. Korean actor Son Ji-chang has also claimed that his Model X SUV crashed into his house in California on Sept. 30. Son has filed a lawsuit against Tesla but it is unclear if any developments have been made regarding the case.

Meanwhile, Top Examiner says Tesla is looking to debut long-range electric vehicles in the South Korean market this year. It is expected that the Model S 90 D may be the first EV from Tesla to be unveiled for Korean consumers.

However, the exact opening of the showroom at Starfield Hanam shopping mall in Gyeonggi Province has yet to be announced. Tesla has yet to make official announcements regarding the consumer subsidies and safety issues that it is currently faced with.

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