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U.S. EV maker Tesla sets up sales office in Osaka.

OSAKA, June 12 Kyodo

Tesla Motors Inc., a U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer, opened a marketing office at a huge commercial complex in the bustling "Umekita" area north of Osaka Station on Wednesday.

Tesla Motors, which has a showroom in Tokyo's Aoyama, is now keen on bolstering sales in western Japan, where it previously had no marketing base, the California-based manufacturer said.

Consumers interested in test-driving Tesla's Model S sports car can do so by contacting a salesperson at the new office.

Kurt Kelty, director of the company's Energy Storage Systems, told reporters it is now having technological discussions with Panasonic Corp., which has supplied lithium ion batteries to Tesla for years, concerning components other than batteries.

Tesla Motors is also displaying lithium ion batteries that power its EV model lineup and the chassis of its Model S at a Panasonic showroom at the same commercial complex, the Grand Front Osaka.

The exhibit at the Panasonic showroom will run through July 15.

Tesla Motors entered the Japanese auto market in 2010 when it opened its Tokyo showroom.

The retail price of the Model S in Japan will be roughly identical to that in the United States, where it retails for $80,000-$100,000, it said.

Japanese consumers who prefer to purchase the right-hand-drive version of the Model S will have to wait until 2014 or after as the car is currently only available in the United States as a left-hand drive, it added.
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Comment:U.S. EV maker Tesla sets up sales office in Osaka.
Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Jun 17, 2013
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