SINGAPORE - Tesla's Singapore sales portal has gone "live", a day after The Straits Times listed estimated prices of its cars.
The site stated that the Tesla Model 3 Performance, a high-powered version of the Model 3, which hits 100kmh in 3.3 seconds, will retail at an estimated price of just under $155,000 before the Certificate of Entitlement (COE).
The less powerful Model 3 Standard Range, which reaches 100kmh in 5.6 seconds, will go for around $113,000 before COE.
The prices - substantially lower than what parallel importers have been charging - are close to what ST posted in its report on Monday (Feb 8).
Observers said Tesla's pricing is likely to propel sales, given that at current COE rates, the Model 3 Standard Range is likely to be cheaper than a Toyota Camry but with more bang for your buck.
Existing Tesla owner Adrian Peh said the competitive pricing "will help Singapore move faster towards a full electric vehicle (EV) environment".
"Mercedes, BMW, Audi and even possibly the higher-end Japanese cars will be hit really hard," the 48-year-old chief executive of a financial advisory firm added.
Corporate communications manager Tony Tan, 54, calculated that a fully-equipped Model 3 Performance would cost him less than $160,000 before COE. "It is essentially a super sports car at half the price," he noted.
Even taxi companies are considering Teslas. Out of the main four cab operators contacted, Trans-Cab and Premier said they would consider adding the American car to their fleet.
Commenting on Tesla's posted prices, Singapore University of Social Sciences transport economist Walter Theseira said: "The Singapore car market has some of the highest dealer gross margins in the world.
"The Land Transport Authority figures show that the difference between the published retail price and the vehicle cost, inclusive of all taxes and OMV (Open Market Value), is routinely in the tens of thousands of dollars for many higher-end brands.
"Tesla's pricing appears to be extremely competitive and a vehicle with similar OMV from an established authorised luxury dealer would probably be priced several tens of thousands more.
"Whether this will lead to authorised dealers reducing margins, or whether Tesla will realise that it has no need to price so aggressively to gain a foothold, remains to be seen."
The launch of the local sales portal follows years of speculation of when the California-based electric carmaker will return to Singapore after its hasty retreat 10 years ago.
It was preceded by chief executive Elon Musk taking jibes at Singapore on Twitter for not being supportive of EVs and being "unwelcoming" to Tesla in particular.
Tesla's return marks one year since the Singapore government announced during its 2020 Budget that it would introduce sweeter incentives to encourage greener vehicles, as well as a plan to expand the EV charging network exponentially.
Meanwhile, Tesla has hired Mr Vincent Wiguna - once a power specialist at European engineering group ABB - as its charging infrastructure manager. The company plans to roll out its own charging network here.