BY MUSTAFA KEMAL COLAK
Founded 19 years ago, the U.S.-based electric vehicle (EV) company Tesla will enter Turkey through Berlin and Shanghai.
With a market value of USD 1tr in the EV field, the company, which waited to complete its production plant in Berlin before moving forward in Turkey, has begun looking for a headquarters in Istanbul. The Berlin plant, which will focus on the European market, has started trial production.
Tesla’s interest in the Turkish market began seven years ago. The firm, which established its subsidiary in Istanbul in 2017, repeatedly suspended its operations in Turkey due to tax issues.
Cities such as Ankara and Izmir as well as tourism regions such as Bodrum are on Tesla’s radar. The company plans to gradually launch stores and service points in the country. However, office locations will also be determined in line with market appetite. The EV company is also preparing showrooms, experience centers, vehicle delivery locations, service centers, and warehouses.
There are around 500 Tesla EVs on Turkish roads brought by independent importers. The process has begun to initiate the first ‘official’ import of Tesla. The first EVs imported by the company will arrive in Turkey this month. Preliminary sales and customer deliveries will begin in the second half of the year.
EVs will be supplied from the Berlin facility and the firm’s manufacturing plant in Shanghai. The tax barrier imposed for the U.S.-origin products will be removed when importing from these supply hubs, according to the company’s plans. Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y EVs will be introduced to the Turkish market. The firm’s subsidiary Tesla Motorlari Satis ve Hizmetleri Limited Sirketi will begin pre-orders in June and the first deliveries will be in August-September. The delivery period has been set as three months. Apart from sales and after-sales channels, Tesla is expected to build an EV charging station network in Turkey soon.
Upper-auto segement to be triggered
Tesla is a company that doesn’t have departments such as marketing, press, and public relations. It’s a brand in which automobiles and technology are prominent instead of people. Tesla CEO Elon Musk conducts the firm’s PR alone. Elon Musk, who also oversees space travel projects, makes statements mostly on Twitter. High levels of upper segment automotive sales, which approached 60,000 in the Turkish domestic market even in 2021 when sales of this segment were low, are considered the main reason for Tesla’s interest in Turkey. Tesla’s penetration in the Turkish market will trigger an uptick in the luxury segment. The company’s Model 3 and Model Y EVs, which are sold at USD 40,000-50,000 abroad, are likely to be sold at USD 70,000-80,000 in Turkey. This corresponds to the price of a 2.0 diesel automatic Volkswagen Passat with informal pricing.