Tesla Model X European Buyers Will Have To Wait For Chinese

2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

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The first Tesla Model X electric crossovers were delivered to a handful of U.S. customers at a flashy event last fall.

And now the company is ramping up production to fill accumulated U.S. orders.

But what about buyers in other markets? When will they get their Model X crossovers?

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model X Spreads Its (Falcon) Wings: Production Details Revealed (Sep 2015)

Tesla is now taking orders for the Model X in China, with deliveries set to begin in the second quarter of this year.

That means Chinese buyers will get their vehicles before the Model X debuts in Europe, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla will also offer a special Signature Red version of the top Model X P90D, which will sell for about 1.48 million yuan ($225,000).

2016 Tesla Model X launch in Fremont, California

2016 Tesla Model X launch in Fremont, California

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Lower-level 90D models will sell for between $146,000 to $178,000, with a $15,000 reservation fee, according to Tesla.

That Tesla will prioritize the world's largest new-car market isn't too surprising, given the effort it's already put into selling the Model S there.

Perhaps emboldened by China's ample electric-car incentives, Tesla aggressively promoted the Model S ahead of its launch there.

MORE: Tesla Model X: The New Safest SUV? (Sep 2015)

Tesla began European deliveries of the Model S in 2013, but Chinese deliveries didn't start until April 2014.

But shipping fees and high import duties drove up the sedan's price, and China's lack of public charging infrastructure has dampened consumer interest for all-electric cars there.

Plug-in hybrids and smaller electric cars, on the other hand, have driven a massive increase in Chinese plug-in car sales recently.

2014 Tesla Model S in China

2014 Tesla Model S in China

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In addition, the Tesla brand doesn't have as much cachet with image-conscious Chinese buyers as older, more established luxury brands like Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Yet with sales of SUVs in China booming, Tesla hopes the Model X can help raise its profile.

A statement on Tesla's Chinese website highlights the Model X's high-efficiency particulate filter, which might prove particularly attractive given the legendarily-terrible air quality of Chinese cities.

With China apparently the priority, it's unclear when European Model X deliveries will begin.

Tesla says it delivered 208 units in the U.S. in the last three months of 2015, although it actually built 507.


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