Elon Musk wants Tesla to be big — or bigger — in Japan

DETROIT: Tesla Inc. is not big in Japan, as the saying goes. And Elon Musk is irritated with low sales in what is still one of the world’s largest car-buying countries.

"There are some geographies where our market share is remarkably low, like Japan,” he said on a fourth-quarter earnings conference call Wednesday.

"We should at least have a market share proportionate to, say, other non-Japanese carmakers like Mercedes or BMW, which we do not currently have.”


Musk blamed a "lack of awareness,” something he said he’s heard from friends in Japan.

Japan’s overall imports of electric vehicles rose 60% to 22,890 units in 2023, according to the Japan automobile Importers Association.

But EV imports in the category including Tesla models fell 6.8% last year.

A lack of ambition isn’t the issue. Musk once predicted Japan would become the company’s largest market outside the US.
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