Tesla has officially launched the Model 3 in China — and says a cheaper version is on the way

  • Tesla on Friday said it had begun delivering Model 3 vehicles in China.
  • The company also announced a cheaper version of the sedan, which will start at roughly $US64,000.
  • CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday told investors he expected Tesla’s Shanghai factory to be producing Model 3s by the end of the year.

Tesla officially launched the performance version of its Model 3 in China on Friday.

The long-range rear-wheel-drive version starts at 560,000 renminbi, or about $US83,142. That’s a significantly higher cost than the same version in the US, according to the blog Electrek, which first reported the news.

In a press release, Tesla said it had also started taking preorders for a cheaper version of the sedan, which will start at 433,000 yuan, or about $US64,289. The same version in the US goes starts at $US51,000, per Electrek.

“The arrival of this model provides another cost-effective choice for Chinese consumers,” the company said in the press release.

Tesla broke ground recently on a new factory in Shanghai where the company says it will eventually build Model 3s. That could help bring down the cost of those vehicles in China, where they now face steep import taxes from the US.

“By the end of this year, we expect to be producing Model 3s using a complete vehicle production line,” CEO Elon Musk said of the factory on Wednesday during Tesla’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call.

“We do feel quite confident at this point, at least for the factors that are in our control that we can achieve volume production in Shanghai by the end of the year. And that should allow us to get to the 10,000 vehicles a week rate or very close to it by the end of the year.”

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