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Electric carmaker Tesla has announced their withdrawal from the Singapore market, after just six months and having not sold a single car

14 Feb 2011 | Local News : Singapore

According to the Straits Times, Tesla is withdrawing from Singapore after failing to secure green tax incentives from the Government, which makes the cars unviable for sale here. Its withdrawal comes just six months after setting up an office in Singapore, and the American company will pull out by next week.

Without the tax breaks, Tesla's Roadster, which is powered solely by lithium-ion batteries that can be charged by a household electrical socket, would sell for around $400,000 to $500,000, similar to cars like the Porsche 911 and Maserati Granturismo. With the incentives, the Roadster would sell for around $250,000.

The Economic Development Board, which is in charge of approving the tax break, said Tesla had not met 'technical requirements'. Tesla said that it had gathered a few bookings for the Roadster on the condition that the tax break is granted. A small number were willing to buy the car without the tax break, but Tesla claims that the number was too small to justify the costs.

Tesla Motors Asia-Pacific director Kevin Yu told The Straits Times, "Unfortunately, Singapore has not turned out to be the market we hoped it would be. Given the Roadster's limited production run and the enthusiastic support from both customers and governments for the vehicle in other markets, Tesla has decided to focus our limited resources elsewhere."

He cited some examples of 'enthusiastic support'. They include Japan, which is granting 2.61million yen (S$40,000) in cash rebate for each Tesla buyer; Hong Kong and Malaysia, where electric vehicles are tax exempt; and various cities in Europe and America, which have similar tax breaks of varying amounts, and added, "We do hope that at some point in the future conditions will be right for re-entry...we have no plans at this point."

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