Tesla opens orders for made-in-China Model 3, lowers price
Tesla Inc. started taking orders for the Model 3 cars it will make in China, its second-largest market, and lowered the price of the vehicle.
The Palo Alto, California-based company set the base price at 328,000 yuan ($47,523), including value added taxes, according to a statement Friday. The cars, to be built at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai, will have a range of 460 kilometers (286 miles) per charge and will probably be delivered in 6 to 10 months. That’s 49,000 yuan cheaper than the imported version.
“The price drop makes Tesla more accessible,” the company said in a Chinese-language statement. Tesla will introduce V3 Superchargers in China by the end of this year, it said. The new technology will cut charging times to around 15 minutes, Tesla said in a blog in March.
Tesla currently ships all its cars from the U.S., making them ineligible for Chinese government subsidies, and subjecting them to import tariffs. The company is counting on its Shanghai factory, which is slated to begin production this year, to bolster competitiveness in a country crowded with hundreds of electric-vehicle rivals.
Local production in China, the world’s largest auto market, will not only allow Tesla to avoid import duties amid trade war tensions, but also speed up deliveries, a priority flagged by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk. A 31% quarter-on-quarter drop in deliveries in the first three months contributed to a 43% plunge in Tesla shares this year.