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CNBC

Cabin-filtering key to success in China, says Tesla executive

Head of global sales and service for Tesla says the company's next plant 'very well may be in China'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 2016, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 April, 2016, 1:57pm

If you've ever taken a deep breath in Beijing, you'll understand why Tesla is so excited about "bioweapon defense mode."

Given China's well-documented problems with air quality, Tesla is hoping the cabin-filtering feature will be a major selling point as it expands sales of its electric cars there.

"One of the most interesting features for the Chinese market is the bioweapon defense mode," said Jon McNeill, head of global sales and service for Tesla, in an interview with Chinese broadcaster CCTV that was posted on Twitter Wednesday.

"It creates air that's 800 times cleaner than the outside air," he added.

CEO Elon Musk first introduced the feature in the Model X SUV last September, and there is speculation that it could make its way to future versions of the Model S sedan.

Tesla has made no secret of its ambitions for the world's most populous country; McNeill also told CCTV that the company's next manufacturing plant "very well may be in China."