Shopping for Chinese partners begins

BMW Brilliance Zinoro BYD Denza TeslaMondoAs expected, Telsa has begun scouting Chinese automakers for potential partnerships. The partnership payoff for Tesla? Tariff avoidance and government incentive inclusion. In other words, a much cheaper price tag for Chinese customers — just for partnering with the likes of, say, Lifan Motors, which is bragging about a visit from Tesla.

BMW’s partnership with Brilliance resulted in the, um, brilliant Zinoro (top). Daimler’s partnership with BYD resulted in the Denza. You may recall BYD’s chairman called the Model S a “rich man’s toy.” Well, one look the Denza tells us it’s not for the rich, and it’s not much of a toy. Congrats!

In keeping with typical Chinese nomenclature, Tesla’s locally-assembled Model S variant surely will bear a name like Tesla Happy Motors Lucky Ducky.

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