Tesla launched on Friday pre-orders for its China-made Model 3, pricing it well below the imported Model 3 and saying deliveries from the Shanghai factory will begin in six to ten months.
Days before Tesla announced its prices for the made-in-China Model 3, the EV maker was said to be considering pricing its flagship electric vehicle at between US$43,400 (300,000 Chinese yuan) and US$50,700 (350,000 yuan) before subsidies.
On Friday, Tesla priced its China-made Model 3 at US$47,500 (328,000 yuan) for the Standard Range Plus version, below the price of Model 3 that Tesla already sells on the Chinese market, at prices starting at US$54,600 (377,000 yuan).
Currently all Tesla cars sold in China are made in the United States and then shipped to China, which adds logistics costs, import tariffs, and the risk of additional tariffs if the trade war further escalates. The imported Tesla vehicles are not eligible for subsidies either.
According to reports in the Chinese media, the first pre-order for a China-made Tesla Model 3 was completed in just three minutes after registration was launched on Friday morning local time. Tesla’s Chinese website crashed for a while due to the traffic, according to China Daily.
Tesla’s made in China Model 3 crushes Chinese-made fossil fuel-powered rivals in the same class such as the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class, according to CleanTechnica’s Maximilian Holland.
In January this year, Elon Musk joined the mayor of Shanghai for the groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla’s first factory outside the U.S. and in the world’s largest EV market, China.
Tesla has started the construction of a production facility in the world’s top EV market in order to be able to compete on a level playing field with a growing number of local EV manufacturers. As a U.S.-made vehicle, Tesla’s cars in China have been subject to steep tariffs, and sales have suffered from the U.S.-China trade war.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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