It’s no secret that Elon Musk isn’t exactly enthused with sales of the Tesla Model S in China, threatening management firings and reorganization over less-than-stellar results. We haven’t heard as much about Japanese sales though, as just a handful of Teslas have gone to the Land of the Rising Sun, and at least one of those has received a cartoonish makeover.
It’s barely recognizable as a Tesla Model S at this point, having been given a head-to-tail makeover that actually includes a tail, as well as round tiger ears and those adorable animal eyes. The Tesla’s unique design comes from a Japanese cartoon tiger called Shimajiro from from the show “Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō”, which translates to “Striped Island Tigeer Shimajiro.”
Aimed primarily at preschool kids, this ongoing cartoon first debuted in 1993 and continues to enjoy immense popularity. Obviously. Educational company Benesse chose the Tesla in order to teach kids about a new generation of automobiles powered by batteries, not gas.
Tesla is reaching out and touching enthusiasts of all ages and nationalities, appealing to people interested in sustainable energy and high performance in equal amounts. It takes a lot of money and devotion to take a $70,000+ and turn it into a rolling cartoon. I mean, you could have taken any car in the world and turned it into Shimajiro, but choosing the Model S says a lot if you ask me.