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Tesla plans to expand to South Korea, sees ‘great potential’ in the market

Straubel MuskTesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel were in Korea this week and they attended the Energy Korea Forum 2015. Local South Korean news reported on comments made by Straubel during a Q&A session at the forum, the CTO said that Tesla is “committed” to the South Korean market and that he sees a “great potential” there. Although he didn’t offer a concrete timeline on when the company plans to start selling cars in the country. Straubel gave some insights on how Tesla approaches expansions in new markets:

“Korea is a market we plan to expand into but I can’t give you a specific date just quite yet. We will do it as soon as we realistically can for our growth plan. We are still a relatively small company and we need to be careful. As we expand into each new country and each new region, customers have very positive experience. We don’t want to damage the brand by growing too quickly and not having enough infrastructure, service and support.”

Last month, Musk announced plans to enter Middle Eastern markets as well as Mexico. The timeline is not entirely clear for those markets either, but the CEO mentioned a “big opening” in Mexico coming “soon” and the Middle East will be in 2016.

Aside from the energy conference, Musk and Straubel being in Korea could also have something to do with Tesla’s recent negotiations with LG and Samsung, two companies based in South Korea, for battery supply agreements.

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