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US electric car manufacturer Tesla is checking out Israel's car market and considering beginning operations in the country from next year.
Sources in Israel's vehicle market have told "Globes" that representatives from Tesla's European Division have been in Israel to examine the local market including the electric car battery charging infrastructure and its technical suitability for Tesla's 'superchargers.' Also being considered are the various logistics needed for importing the cars into Israel in terms of a management and operations network. Tesla has declined to confirm this report.
In recent years, there have been many direct and indirect attempts to import Tesla cars to Israel but representatives contacting the company were met with a refusal. The response was always that Tesla's business model is not to work through independent agencies, dealers and representatives to set up its own operations in overseas countries.
Tesla controlling shareholder Elon Musk has visited Israel several times in the past two years in what were described as 'family visits.' During those visits, he refused to answer business questions and denied any contacts with Israeli auto-tech and automated driving technology companies.
Tesla's interest in entering the Israeli market comes against the backdrop of a major rise in the production of electric cars in the US in general and in particular Tesla's opening of a factory in China, which will sharply increase the company's production potential.
Tesla recently announced that it was entering the Serbian and Croatian markets and that it would subsequently move into other Eastern European countries. These are markets that are smaller and less developed in terms of cars than Israel's market.
Also, market sources believe that Tesla's R&D department has ongoing collaborations with Israeli auto-tech startups.
2019.10.17 / 19:11