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Tatsuya Arai, a 36-year-old entrepreneur in Tokyo, never saw the appeal of owning a car until he watched a YouTube video featuring a Tesla Inc. The Model 3, with its sleek exterior and innovative dash, looked like a neat solution considering he was moving from the city’s bustling Shibuya district to a quieter waterfront area and needed a way to get around.

"It was like buying a gadget,” he said.

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