Fourteen Tesla Model S sedans have landed at a car dealer in Tianjin, China, each with a price tag of around 850,000 yuan, or $136,000. That's a $13,000 premium over the price Tesla charges, and for that extra scratch, you get a car from a shady dealer with no warranty, no support, and no service. Brilliant!
China is a haven for grey market cars, particularly high-dollar rides the upper class can't wait to be chauffeured in. But the Model S isn't a Bentley Mulsanne.
Aside from the electric drivetrain, there's no way to get it serviced when it's not sold through Tesla's Beijing dealership. Additionally, since a large part of the Model S ownership experience consists of over-the-air software updates – including the upgrade that raised the ride height after last year's fires – by going grey, the owner is stuck with an unconnected car, removed from the system, and won't benefit from important updates.
This situation has already played out in Japan, and Tesla was well aware that this was going to be an issue in China. And even worse for the suckers buying these unsupported cars, they won't get a $15,000 license plate for free.