Tesla delivered its first China-built Model 3 just before the new year according to CNN. These deliveries went to 15 Tesla employees at a ceremony at the Tesla factory in Shanghai. Additional cars were set to be delivered to employees in the days following the ceremony with the first customers receiving their orders in January.
- Tesla delivered its first China-built Model 3 just before the new year.
- The first 15 cars went to employees at Tesla’s Shanghai factory.
- Customers will start receiving their orders in January.
The Shanghai plant was built in only 10 months. The first production vehicles were started in October with the first orders taken on October 25. Before any deliveries were made, cars were sent out to dozens of experience centers across China. This gave customers an opportunity to go for a test drive before placing an order.
Multi-port charging stations like this one could become more common in China soon. (Photo: Getty Images)
China-Built Tesla vehicles cost less
The Shanghai factory is selling its Model 3s for roughly $51,000. That’s two percent less than the price for models imported from elsewhere. In addition to lower pricing, customers can take advantage of subsidies of around $3,500 for buying a locally made car. They’re also exempt from the car purchase tax.
Although these are the first deliveries of China-built Model 3s, Tesla products aren’t new to the country. The first Teslas were sold to Chinese customers in 2014. At the time, CEO Elon Musk stated that China was important to Tesla and that it would open a local plant in the next three to four years.
The new factory stands to significantly increase sales of Tesla vehicles by giving the company a production foothold in the world’s largest car market. The plan is to ramp up production to 500,000 cars per year.
WHY THIS MATTERS
As the first Tesla plant built outside the Untied States, this sets up Tesla for future growth in a key market. It makes vehicles more affordable for Chinese customers and could speed adoption and enthusiasm for electric vehicles in China.