Tesla has confirmed that it plans to start making deliveries of its Model 3 sedan to China in March.
That will complement an export strategy that’s ramping up in multiple ways. With the volume of U.S. deliveries potentially falling due to the reduced federal plug-in tax credit on Teslas in 2019, and the following a strong sales push through the end of 2018, Tesla will be focusing efforts in 2019 toward Europe as well as China. European deliveries, Tesla has said, will start in February.
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Tesla has initially priced Model 3 for China at 499,000 yuan for the Dual Motor Long Range version and 560,000 yuan for the Performance version. That equates to about $72,600 and $81,500, respectively. Both are currently available for reservation in the automaker’s configurator for the Chinese market, and both will arrive in March.
In November Tesla cut its prices in China for the Model S and Model X by 12 to 26 percent in order to make the model more “affordable”—in reaction to the additional tariffs that were levied on U.S imports that made the cars much harder to sell. These official prices for Model 3 likely too reflect such an adjustment, as they're lower than the unconfirmed/projected prices leaked last fall.
Tesla then said that it was absorbing a significant part of the tariff, and said that the matter would force it to speed up investment in its China Gigafactory, to be located near Shanghai.
That facility, which will build the Model 3, upcoming Model Y crossover, and potentially other models, is expected to make up to 500,000 vehicles per year, with a potential production ramp-up starting late in 2020.