Imported, US-spec vehicles are selling for $70,000 more than the Chinese MSRP.

Dealer markups are are nothing new. Consumers who absolutely must have a certain vehicle, whether it's a limited production model or simply one of the first on the road, are and have been willing to pay thousands of dollars over the MSRP. It's a fact of car shopping, and one that's not unique to the United States. According to Forbes, customers in China are paying as much as $240,000 for a new Tesla Model X.

That's $70,000 over the sticker price in China, and the Model Xs being sold at these prices aren't even Chinese spec. It seems a private seller is purchasing the vehicles in the US and shipping them to China. For reference, a new Model X P90D starts at $115,000 in the US and $170,000 in China. The vehicles seem to be selling well, as the dealer told Forbes he only has white vehicles left in stock.

Grey-market imports in China are legal, but come with heavy restrictions. In the case of the Model X, the warranties have been voided. According to Forbes, factory Tesla dealers will perform repairs, but all costs come from the consumer. In addition, the US-spec vehicles will have displays that read in English and show speeds in miles per hour. Since Google Maps is blocked in China, the vehicles won't have functioning navigation like their Chinese-spec counterparts. Getting car insurance doesn't seem to be an issue, as it is with some other grey-market vehicles.

This exact same situation occurred a few years ago with the Tesla Model S. It's unknown what steps Tesla is taking to curb these sales, but expect the company to be working on a plan. While customers may be willing to pay the premium, the sales don't count towards Tesla's Chinese sales figures. Until the company figures something out, we're sure that the grey market imports will continue and possibly expand.


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