Tesla Inc said on Friday it would price its China-made Model 3 vehicles from 328,000 yuan ($47,529), 13% cheaper than those it currently imports.
The carmaker has been building a factory in China since January where it its initial output will be Model 3 cars. Pre-orders for the vehicles will also start on Friday, the company said on its website.
The “standard range plus Model 3” is 49,000 yuan cheaper than China’s current cheapest version, also standard range plus, even though it remains unclear whether the carmaker will qualify for China’s subsidies for new energy vehicles.
The starting prices for five different versions of China-made Model 3s range from 328,000 to 522,000 yuan. Customers can expect to receive the car in 6-10 months, the company said. Buyers will only need to put down a deposit of 20,000 yuan and that financing options on offer meant that monthly payment instalments will start from 1,100 yuan.
The higher-end version of the Model 3 will still be imported from the United States.
Producing cars locally is likely to help Tesla minimize the impact of the import tariffs war between China and the U.S. Keeping prices in check will also help Tesla fend off competition from a swathe of domestic EV startups such as Nio Inc, Weltmeister and XPeng Motors, as well as established carmakers including Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co.
Tesla forecast its deliveries in 2019 would reach 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles and said it may produce as many as 500,000 vehicles if its China factory reaches volume production in the fourth quarter.