Tesla Begins Taking Orders On Its Cheaper China-Built Model 3s

Tesla Inc.promised to start delivering Model 3 sedans built at its new Shanghai plant within six to 10 months—and priced them well below the imported version—as the electric-vehicle maker races to capitalize on booming Chinese demand.

Offering up details on its China strategy, Tesla said prices for the locally built Model 3 will start from about $47,500 for the Standard Range Plus version. Chinese buyers currently pay $58,900 for a basic Model 3 imported from the U.S.

Initial orders are being taken for the local Model 3 with the first Shanghai-built cars scheduled for delivery late this year or early next year, the company said in a post on its social media account.

Getting China right, industry analysts said, is pivotal for Tesla, whose share price has halved in the past six months amid doubts about its ability to ramp up deliveries in the U.S.

“Tesla has struggled with the Model 3 launch,” said Bill Russo, founder of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automobility. “A repeat of this in China would put their timing at risk and place further stress on their cash flow.”

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