Tesla to Begin Sale of Cars In South Korea in May 2017

It looks like Korean motorists will have a high end electric car choice available to them in May:

Tesla completed the manufacturer registration process to sell cars in Korea on Wednesday, putting it on track to begin operations here within the first half of this year.

“Tesla plans to bring its test product into the country by this month and begin sales in May,” said an official from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which is in charge of the registration process.

The only step left for the automaker is to report basic specs of the model it plans to sell at least 10 days before sales begin, a relatively simple step compared to previous hurdles.   [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link, but South Korea I believe is a perfect market for electric cars considering the short driving distances to get around the country.

Tesla Motors Draws Korean Backlash for Map Showing Sea of Japan

Definitely not a good way to enter the Korean market by Tesla Motors, but it did give their website a lot of free publicity:

Tesla Motors launched its Korea website Friday and began preorder sales of its products online as well as reservations for test drives. But in less than a week the automaker has already drawn harsh public criticism for its web translations that contain misspellings and show its lack of understanding of the Korean market.

Tesla has been especially pounded by the Korean public for the map the electric-car manufacturer earlier used on its website that labeled the East Sea as the Sea of Japan and the controversial islet between Korea and Japan Dokdo as Takeshima, its Japanese name.

As of Tuesday, the American company had upgraded the Korean website, changing Sea of Japan to East Sea. However, the map on its U.S. website still has both the Sea of Japan and East Sea.

An online automobile community user said the level of Korean on the local website was equivalent to that of Google’s translator.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link, but pretty clearly the Tesla website for Korea is in a beta stage and I would think they would have people working on updating the website to meet Korean marketplace standards.