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April 17, 2020 9:28 am

Tesla Moves Forward With Commercial Launch in Israel After Initial Delay

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A 2018 Tesla Model S. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The electric and autonomous-car company Tesla Inc. is going ahead with its plans to launch commercially in Israel, reported Calcalist on Tuesday.

Elon Musk’s company recently appointed Ilan Benano—a former executive at Israeli Mercedes importer Colmobil Ltd. and Audi importer Champion Motors—as its technical service manager in Israel, a person familiar with the matter told Calcalist.

Benano will be in charge of training the technical teams servicing Tesla’s cars in Israel and setting up specialized auto-repair shops in the country, the insider said.

Having repair service available in Israel is vital if the company wants regulatory approval from Israel’s Ministry of Transport and Road Safety to import and sell more than 20 cars a year in the country, explained Calcalist.

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Tesla’s Israel team is also using 20 vehicles already imported by the company for potential clients to conduct test drives ahead of a formal launch expected in the upcoming months, the source added.

The company was initially expected to begin operations in Israel in January, but its plans were postponed due to regulatory problems. The company leased a showroom in Tel Aviv in January, and later that month, Israel’s transport ministry reversed its ban and allowed Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system, Autopilot, to be used.

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