Elon Musk urges potential Tesla buyers in China to order cars now to fund the new Gigafactory

Kanka NewsElon Musk speaks to Kanka News during his trip to Shanghai this week

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke to Chinese state media on his trip to Shanghai this week to break ground on a new Gigafactory.
  • He urged consumers to order their vehicle today in order to help fund the construction.
  • A cheaper Model 3 won’t happen any time soon, either, he said, so people should not wait for a price cut.

For Chinese drivers hoping to snag a cheaper TeslaModel 3, CEO Elon Musk doesn’t want you to wait.

“I also want to encourage Chinese consumers to place an order for our Model 3 right now,” Musk told the state-owned Kanka News website on Monday while in Shanghai for the groundbreaking of a new Gigafactory. The interview was first reported by Bloomberg.

The automaker last week slashed prices on all its cars by $US2,000 to help alleviate some headaches brought on by the halving of a federal tax credit by $US3,750 on January 1. But when a mass-market versionof the Model 3, which CEO Elon Musk once said could ship by last year, will arrive, is still anybody’s guess.

“You don’t have to wait until next year to see if these high-end cars will cut prices,” he continued. “It will be the same price next year, so you don’t have to wait.”

Musk also urged consumers in the world’s largest vehicle market to order their cars as soon as possible so that Tesla can use the funding for factory construction.

“Consumers don’t have to wait,” he said. “When they place orders, we can better build our Gigafactory.”

The lowest-cost option for a Model 3 on the company’s US site is currently $US44,000 before tax incentives, and as low as $US33,950 after the rebates. It plans to continue producing the premium version in California for now.

“The ones we produce in Shanghai are relatively low-profile models of the Model 3,” said Musk. “We hope to bring the more cost-effective Model 3 and Model Y models to Chinese consumers.”

Lasy week, Tesla said it plans to begin delivering cars in China as soon as March, confirming the time frame that Musk laid out last year. According to the statement, starting prices for a Model 3 in the country will be 499,000 yuan, or $US72,000.

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