Tesla opens temporary showroom in Osaka as interest grows


Tesla Motors Inc. opened a temporary showroom in Osaka on Saturday to showcase its electric vehicles before establishing a permanent store next spring.

Tesla said it has received inquiries and orders from customers in the region as its name recognition grows from its battery tieup with Panasonic Corp., which has roots in the western metropolis.

“We hope the opening of the Osaka shop will lead to the proliferation of EVs,” Sukemasa Kabayama, head of Tesla’s Japan arm, said Friday. He unveiled a plan to set up rapid EV chargers at 32 locations across the nation in 2015.

The Osaka showroom has the luxury sedan Model S on display and allows customers to test-drive the quiet car Tesla started delivering in Japan in September. Prices start at ¥8.23 million ($73,480).

The Osaka showroom, which is in Nishi Ward, is Tesla’s second outlet in Japan, following one in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

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