U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc said on Friday that it has been in the mission of building a factory in China since January where it will start producing Model 3 cars. Pre-orders for the vehicles will also begin on Friday.
The carmaker said that it would price its China-made Model 3 vehicles from 328,000 yuan (US$47,529), as it pushes production and sales in the world’s largest new-energy vehicle market that is 13% cheaper than those of it currently imports.
The factory began hiring workers this month after job listings were published online, while videos and photos of the factory taken by Tesla enthusiasts suggest that it is nearing completion. The “standard range plus Model 3” is 49,000 yuan cheaper than China’s current most affordable version, also standard range plus, even though it remains unclear whether the carmaker will qualify for China’s subsidies for new energy vehicles.
Of course, the current price is inflated by the 25% import duty China now imposes on all US-made cars as a result of the tit for tat trade war initiated by alleged president Don the Con Trump. Locally produced vehicles will not be subject to any such tariffs. All prices listed above are before any national or local EV incentives, which in China can be significant.
Beyond China, the Model 3 also went up for pre-order in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, and Macau, the company said.