The Tesla CEO brushed off suggestions that the Chinese authorities might hamper Tesla’s expansion in order to support domestic carmakers. “They might have done some parochial actions in the past but I don’t think that’s going to be the path going forward for them,” he said.
In one potential hindrance, Tesla has to meet different charging standards in China.
Details of the standard were only announced a month ago but Tesla is “committed to meeting them”, he said. “It’s a little tricky to adhere to anything that hasn’t been definitely announced.”
The global expansion has threatened to stretch Tesla’s ability to service the growing fleet of electric vehicles and maintain its strong brand image. Mr Musk said that Tesla believed it could continue to rapidly expand international sales without facing a crippling increase in costs.
“Our ambition is quality that is an order of magnitude better than any other car,” he said.
In the latest quarter, Tesla also registered progress in its efforts to squeeze greater efficiencies out of its supply chain. Its gross profit margin rose by 1.4 percentage points to 26.8 per cent on a pro forma basis, ahead of expectations of 26 per cent.
Tesla said it had delivered 7,579 vehicles in the second quarter, slight more than the 7,500 it had forecast. It produced 8,763, also in line with expectations, reflecting the build up of vehicles in the distribution pipeline as it expands sales in Asia and Europe.