Market research firm IHS Markit expects Tesla to sell more than 5,200 vehicles in Japan in 2021, an increase of more than 174% from about 1,900 in 2020. Tesla’s sales in Japan could see a brief hiatus this year as potential buyers wait for the new Model Y. The new Model Y is expected to go on sale in Japan around the end of this year.
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The Japanese government’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050 appears to have changed its earlier focus on protecting the country’s auto industry. It now aims to cut emissions by nearly half from 2013 levels by 2030 and wants to ban the sale of gasoline-fueled cars by the mid-2030s.
At the same time, the Japanese government is making electric vehicles more affordable for consumers, doubling the number of subsidies in November last year to a maximum of 800,000 yen.
The incentives also make Tesla more affordable. In February last year, Tesla Japan cut the price of its long-range Model 3 by 24% to about 5 million yen (about 276,000 yuan), which is comparable to the price reduction in the Chinese market.
Tesla is expected to soon announce the start of production at its first factory in Europe, the Berlin Gigafactory, and another Gigafactory in Texas. “As Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory is about to go online, a large number of Chinese-made Teslas will enter Japan, South Korea and India in 2022,” said Tu Le, director of Sino Auto Insights. He also predicted further price cuts in the Japanese market.