You can see Tesla TVs on sale in Europe. If you think this is a product from the company that makes Tesla cars, it is not. A third-party company registers this brand for European TVs, and it is only used in some countries. Tesla TVs are officially supplied to the following countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. According to the website https://tesla.info/, expansion is planned for Poland, Russia, Cyprus, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Brazil and Spain. These languages are listed on the site, but there is no service support in these countries.
Tesla TV History
Until 1990, Tesla televisions were manufactured by Tesla in Czechoslovakia. The production of televisions was aimed at the market of the countries controlled by the USSR.
After the collapse of the socialist bloc, the company was reorganized into several companies. Tesla Orava became the successor in the production of televisions. In 2000, Tesla Orava went bankrupt. Since 2008, Tesla televisions have been produced by the Chinese company Changhong—as well as other companies that produce TVs under license.
In 2014, the rights to the Tesla TV brand were transferred to the Comtrade Group. The brand is managed by Comtrade Distribution, a company registered in Serbia. Comtrade Distribution also manages the Tesla, Home Electronics, and Click brands. ComTrade Group is a multinational company operating in dozens of countries worldwide. The core business is software development. One of its business lines is investing in brands. For example, it owns the rights to the Tesla TV brand, and now, of course, everyone is listening to Tesla cars. The brand has become quite recognizable. So why not use it? The brand is quite famous in some countries, and its identical name to Tesla cars makes it a great investment.
Who has been making Tesla TVs since 2014?
Since Comtrade distribution only handles sales, the televisions are manufactured by OEMs on Comtrede’s behalf. In turn, Comtrade distribution maintains information resources, logistics and TV sales, and service support. Service support is provided through third-party repair companies. Given the trends, these companies will likely be supplied with new TVs to replace in case of complex breakdowns.
I wrote a letter asking to find out from the company where Tesla TVs are manufactured and received the following response to my question: The distribution company Somtrade replied that the TVs are manufactured in China under the supervision and control of Serbian engineers.
Tesla TVs – whether they are good or not
Let’s take a look at the TV models. There are three lines of TVs offered in 2023: third, sixth, and ninth.
Let’s go through this series of Tesla brand TVs very briefly.
The ninth series of Tesla TVs
What can be noted immediately, in terms of screens, is that this is a premium series. But if we look at the operating systems, this series has TVs on LG’s Web OS. Yes, LG has now allowed its OS to be used in TVs from other manufacturers. But Web OS 5.0 version is 2020, and Web OS 6.0 is 2021. That means a TV with Web OS 5 is the same as a 2020 LG TV. The other part of the TVs uses Android TV 10; this OS came out in 2019, and as of the end of 2023, version 13 is already out.
Tesla TV Series 6
In this series of TVs, the screens are worse; the OS is also different: Google TV, Android 9 and Android 11, and Web OS 5.
The third series of Tesla TVs
In this series, there are TVs with Full HD screens. But the operating systems are different; there are TVs without Smart, there are TV models on Android, and there are TVs on ViDAA OS from Hisense.
Bottom line: Tesla TVs are outdated devices, a few years behind the top TV manufacturers. But they are on par with most Chinese brands.
Who makes Tesla TVs
The company that owns the Tesla TV brand doesn’t disclose who makes the TVs. But you can tell who makes the TVs from indirect indications.
For example, ViDAA is an OS developed by Hisense, and when it comes to the Google TV operating system, only three companies, Sony, TCL, and Hisense, officially use it. Given this information, we can assume that Hisense and TCL manufacture Tesla TVs.