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Surprise Tesla Sales In Russia Get Surprise Tesla SaA Boost From Online Retailer

Tesla is set to receive a sales bump in Russia after a mobile-phone retailer teamed up with a local importer to offer sales of the electric vehicles (EVs) on the retailer’s website.

Svyaznoy—a Russian online retailer backed by billionaire Alisher Usmanov—began offering Tesla vehicles for online orders on its platform at the end of May, in cooperation with Moscow Tesla Club.

Moscow Tesla Club said on Monday that in June—the first full month of the offering of Tesla vehicles—the club and the retailer received a total of 236 orders for Tesla cars.

This compares to around 300 Tesla vehicles registered in Russia since 2014, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Of the 236 online orders last month, a total of 43 percent were for Model S, another 26 percent of customers ordered Model X, and the remainder booked Tesla Model 3 or Tesla Roadster, Moscow Tesla Club said in a statement.

Tesla buyers can choose their configuration and have the car shipped to any location in Russia where Svyaznoy has a store.

The Tesla vehicles are being configured to customers’ preferences at a Tesla factory in the Netherlands, Igor Antarov, managing partner of Moscow Tesla Club, told Bloomberg. A Tesla may reach Russia within four months after shipping out from the United States by sea, he added.

Teslas are en vogue among top Russian entrepreneurs, bankers, and billionaires, despite the fact that their price in Russia is much higher than that in Western Europe.

The retail price of a Tesla is around 60 percent higher than in Western Europe, mostly due to customs duty, a scrapping fee, and other local documents and paperwork needed, Antarov told Bloomberg.

The first celebrity Tesla owners in Russia included billionaire Roman Abramovich, and Herman Gref, the CEO and chairman of the biggest Russian bank, Sberbank, according to Bloomberg.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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