Tesla opens bookings for made in China Model 3

Credit Marc Talloen

The Model 3 on show in Brisbane. Credit Marc Talloen

The model has a range of 460 kilometres and a top speed of 225kph.

Tesla has opened the order books for the Model 3 vehicles that it will manufacture (and sell) in China.

The company announced today that aside from Macau it will also start accepting orders for the Model 3 from from buyers in Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Ireland, with first deliveries estimated to take place in the third quarter of this year.

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.

Industry observers said that the price of the locally made auto aimed at the mass market is on the higher side, adding that a 300,000 yuan price tag could attract thousands of mainland buyers.

Perhaps "slashing" is too harsh a word, but the company is cutting 13% off the standard Model 3, which means it comes in at about $47,000.

Investors are focused on whether the gross profit margin on the Model 3 will remain around 20% in China.

Prices and variant availability vary per region, like usual.

Producing cars locally is likely to help Tesla minimize the impact of Sino-U.S. tit-for-tat import tariffs, which has forced the EV maker to adjust prices of its U.S. -made cars in China.

However, Nio and Xpeng, Tesla's major local competitors, have brushed off the threat from Tesla.

"The price drop makes Tesla more accessible", the company said in a Chinese-language statement.

Tesla CEO Musk shows a rendering of the future assenbly plant in Shanghai that will be crucial to the automaker's future.

Tesla would introduce V3 Superchargers in China by the end of this year, it said.

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