Tesla is coming to Singapore

Tesla in Singapore soon?

Job openings with Tesla in Singapore suggest the brand is plotting a return to our market. One particular post confirms it…

SINGAPORE – Fancy a job with Tesla? The electric vehicle giant has at least nine positions open in Singapore, according to its website and LinkedIn.

One particular position pretty much confirms that Telsa is going to set up shop in Singapore and start selling cars here: the electric car juggernaut is looking for a Country Manager — Singapore.

Here’s the job description: “Tesla Motors is seeking a Country Manager to lead sales operations and drive all aspects of business development across Singapore. You will be responsible for bringing Tesla to market in volume while implementing strategies that maximise the productivity and profitability of the retail presence across the country.”

Note the words “retail presence”.

The listing goes on to say, “You will hire and develop a cohesive, highly motivated team and ensure Tesla Singapore is recognised as a top employer.”

Tesla also put up listings are for technical or aftersales job such as parts advisor, service advisor, vehicle technician and service manager. It’s also hiring for a pre-delivery position called the “Vehicle Readiness Specialist”.

That’s the bloke responsible for preparing a car for handover or delivery to a customer, whether it’s fresh from the factory or a used car.

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Tasks like “coordinating the receipt of incoming new and used vehicle inventory”, “preparing vehicles for customers” and “preparing new customer delivery vehicles” are part of the job description.

That pretty much confirms that Tesla, currently the most valuable car company in the world, is fixing start selling its cars to Singapore customers directly instead of working with an authorised dealer. We reached out to the company’s Asia-Pacific PR team but didn’t hear back.

Tesla briefly set up an Asia-Pacific office here in 2010, with plans to put the Roadster on sale. But the brand made a quiet exit in less than a year without selling any. In 2018, chief executive Elon Musk tweeted that the Singapore Government was “not supportive” of electric vehicles.

In the meantime, grey importers (and one self-importer) have been quietly fulfilling demand for Tesla’s cars here. Land Transport Authority figures show that there were 21 Teslas in Singapore as of the end of 2019, most of them imported by Hong Seh Motors. Five more Teslas hit the streets in the first five months of this year.

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Electric vehicles remain a rare sight here; out of 628,007 passenger cars, just 1,147 are full electric. But sales have been climbing as more manufacturers launch battery-powered cars here. The Government has pledged to phase out combustion cars by 2040.

The upshot of the above is that Tesla is planning to enter a different Singapore from the one it left, at least where the electric vehicle landscape is concerned. There may only be nine positions open for now, but lots more are bound to come.

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about the author

Leow Julen
CarBuyer's managing editor is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 26 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.