US-based electric car company Tesla, headed by co-founder Elon Musk, has indirectly confirmed the report that first appeared in "Globes" that it intends to start selling its cars in Israel. The company has advertised on its jobs website the post of Country Manager, Israel, based in Tel Aviv, with responsibility for service, sales and delivery.
Among other things, the country manager will be responsible for recruitment, and will need to "participate in the strategic design of our charging infrastructure footprint in the market."
The move is in line with Tesla's policy of operating directly in the territories in which it has a presence, through subsidiary companies, rather than through dealerships. The subsidiaries report directly to Tesla head office. In the past decade there have been dozens of attempts to import Tesla vehicles into Israel, directly from the company or via third parties, but Tesla blocked them all.
High demand for its vehicles has led to long waiting lists worldwide and delivery delays, but industry sources say that Israel's turn is about to come as mass production of Tesla's Model 3 car starts in China and the company expands its production capacity in the US.
As revealed by "Globes", preparations for entry into the Israeli market began months ago, focusing on talks with companies in Israel capable of setting up fast charging infrastructure. There was also contact with senior manages in the Israeli vehicle industry through Tesla's branches in Europe and the Gulf states. As far as is known, at least two former senior managers at car importers in Israel have been recruited to the set-up team.
Some Tesla models, particularly the prestige Model S, will become substantially more expensive in Israel because of new "green taxation" rules due to come into force in January, lowering the price ceiling for tax breaks on electric vehicles. The more popular models, however, such as the Model 3 and the Tesla Y compact crossover (which has not yet been launched) will not be significantly affected, and will probably sell for NIS 200,000-250,000 in their basic versions.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 9, 2019
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