Tesla’s big bet on China-based production is key to a new effort to lure Chinese consumers with cheaper prices. Today the U.S. firm revealed that its incoming Model 3, which will be produced in China, will sell from 328,000 RMB — that’s around $47,500, and some 13% cheaper than its previous entry-level option.
The company opened pre-orders for the vehicle today, although it only broke ground on its Shanghai-based factory in January of this year. Customers who do plonk down cash for a pre-order this week — deposits start from 20,000 RM — can expect to receive their vehicle in 6-10 months, according to Tesla.
Despite the competitive prices, the higher spec Model 3 will continue to be shipped from the U.S., according to Reuters. The publication added that it isn’t clear if the made-in-China Tesla will qualify for EV subsidies from the government.
Beyond China, the Model 3 also went up for pre-order in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland and Macau, the company said.
The Shanghai plant is expected to produce 500,000 vehicles per year when it reaches full production. 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.
While it isn’t clear what margins the China-produced vehicles will bring Tesla, local manufacturing will help it avoid challenges around shipping and pricing, an issue that has been exacerbated by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.