On Friday, Tesla said it was going to price its Chinese-made Model 3 starting at 328,000 yuan, which amounts to about $47,500. The price is 13% cheaper than the vehicle it currently imports, with Tesla looking to push sales in China's massive EV market, according to Reuters.
The initial output of the company's factory in Shanghai is going to be limited to Model 3 vehicles. Pre-orders are set to start on Friday, according to Tesla. The company's "Standard range plus Model 3" is 49,000 yuan cheaper than China's current cheapest version, despite the fact that it remains unclear as to whether or not the vehicle will qualify for Chinese NEV subsidies.
Tesla said that those who pre-order can expect their vehicle in 6 to 10 months. The full price range of Model 3s runs from 328,000 yuan to 522,000 yuan. And Tesla also appears to be trying to entice buyers with minimal deposit requirements: you only need to put down a deposit of 20,000 yuan (~$3,183) and financing options will start with monthly payments of 1100 yuan (~$159).
“The price drop is to make Tesla more accessible,” the company said.
The higher-end version of the vehicle will still be imported from the United States. Wall Street is focused on whether or not gross profit margin on the Model 3 will stay around 20% in China.
The lowered pricing comes at a time where Wall Street has punished Tesla stock on fears of demand drying up. Producing the Model 3 in China will likely help Tesla avoid most import tariffs, while keeping prices low should help it keep pace with competitors like Nio, Xpeng, Volkswagen and General Motors.
Tesla's Gigafactory marks the first wholly foreign owned car plant in China. Recent photos of the plant showed that construction is nearing late stages, and Tesla recently held a recruitment event for car manufacturing and logistics workers.