After a Tax Break Is Decimated, Tesla Sales Disappear

Nearly 3K Teslas were registered in Hong Kong in March. In April, 0
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2017 10:52 AM CDT
This Sept. 29, 2015, file photo shows Tesla CEO Elon Musk.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

(Newser) – The weekend brought photos of Tesla's first Model 3 sedan to roll off the production line, but it wasn't all positive news for the automaker. The Wall Street Journal on Sunday posted an analysis of data out of Hong Kong that suggests just how severe an effect the reduction of a significant tax break for electric vehicles has had on Tesla. The tax break had dropped the cost of a Model S 60 to a roughly $73,000 price tag; under the new tax rules, it costs about $118,000, per Quartz, which notes that elevated price is basically the same as buying a new Mercedes-Benz there. March was the last month where the electric vehicles were available at the lower effective price. Newly purchased Teslas registered by first-time electric vehicle owners that month: 2,939. And in April: zero. And then in May: five.

Tesla said in a statement that its "business does not rely on" favorable government policies, though its securities filings note it is not immune to the effects of changing such incentives. The Journal notes Tesla is working to get its vehicles into China, citing one gloomy quote on the subject from an analyst: "Hong Kong is the fashionable China. It's not exactly painting a glowing picture for the future of Tesla in China." (Read more Tesla stories.)

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