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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Starts Booking Of Model S, Model X In Japan

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA - Get Report) has started taking orders for its Model S sedan and the upcoming Model X crossover in Japan, says a report from autoevolution. Tesla was the only U.S. automaker to display its offerings at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

Model X Signature edition can also be booked

According to the report, the Tesla Model S could be booked with $2,500 while the deposit is $5,000 for the Model X crossover, which would be launched in 2014. Also, interested Japanese customers can make an advance booking for the Model X Signature edition by paying a deposit amount of $40,000.

Not many details has been shared on the upcoming Model X crossover, but CEO Elon Musk told that the new vehicle will be available in all-wheel-drive only, and will command a higher price compared to that of the Model S sedan.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA - Get Report) has been on focusing more on international expansion. The electronic vehicle maker has already opened a dealership in Europe and would start Chinese deliveries in early 2014.

Japan important for Tesla

Musk expects Japan to become the company’s largest market outside the U.S. Earlier, the CEO said “We do believe Japan will be our No. 2 country in terms of sales over time,” and added, “Japan is a key market for the kind of product we produce.”

At a briefing in Tokyo ahead of the motor show, Kevin Yu, the Director of Retail Development for Tesla Motors in Asia Pacific said, "From an American point of view, Japanese consumers are extremely open-minded. They are extremely open to new technology."

Apart from the open-mindedness of the Japanese consumers, Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA - Get Report) has another reason to focus more on Japan. Panasonic Corporation OTCMKTS:PCRFY TYO:6752, which has been a supplier of lithium ion batteries to the electronic vehicle maker, entered into an agreement with Tesla to supply 2 billion cells over four years from 2014.

Even though Japan holds immense importance for Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA - Get Report), Mr. Yu acknowledged that the market would be no pushover, saying the consumers here are very demanding, expecting the best product at best possible rates.

"The bar for success is very high," Mr. Yu said.

-By Aman Jain

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