By Akash Sriram
– Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said in a tweet on Monday that the Model S Plaid will “probably” be coming to China, the electric-car maker’s second-largest market, around March.
The company introduced a new Model S Plaid, a 520-mile range sedan that can reach top speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (320 km per hour), in September last year, with deliveries starting in 2021.
Musk, known for his Twitter banter, did not provide any further details in his tweet. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There is demand in China, at least initially, for the Model S Plaid, especially among high-end luxury automotive buyers, Morningstar analyst Seth Goldstein said.
While Tesla has weathered the chip crisis better than rivals and legacy automakers, some analysts believe supply-chain issues could raise costs and negatively affect margins.
The electric-vehicle maker’s Shanghai factory helped sustain the company when its factory in Fremont, California was forced to shut down due to pandemic-related curbs early last year.
Tesla could also export the Model S Plaid to other markets in Europe and Asia, so it makes sense to add the model to the Shanghai site, Goldstein said.
The company’s Shanghai factory has exported about 41,000 vehicles of the more than 54,000 made at the plant.
In the recent past, Tesla has been facing regulatory scrutiny in China over how it handles data, consumer complaints and other issues.
Shares of Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, were up 3.5% at $1,177.11.