Tesla Approaches Long Range Model 3 Made In China


(Bloomberg) – Tesla Inc. plans to expand its lineup in China by offering a locally built Model 3 sedan with longer range this week, according to people familiar with the subject.

The vehicle would have a range of more than 650 kilometers (404 miles) on a single charge, compared to about 450 kilometers for the most basic current version which starts at 323,800 yuan ($ 45,800), people said, asking not not be identified as the information is not public. The variant would start at around 350,000 yuan before the discounts, although the exact price has yet to be decided, they said.

A longer range could help Tesla push back competition from Volkswagen AG and BMW AG, which are also launching new electrified models in China. Automakers are leveraging new vehicles to drive demand in a market hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

The longer-range Model 3, like the current cheaper version, would be eligible for subsidies for electric vehicles and is exempt from the car purchase tax in China.

Tesla officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tesla vehicle registrations have plummeted for two consecutive months in China, showing that the American automaker is not immune to the broader collapse of the auto industry. The slowdown occurred amidst Tesla’s multi-billion dollar pressure to expand into the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

However, Tesla’s plant in China has recovered from a virus-related shutdown better than many in the industry, thanks to help from local authorities. After resuming operations on February 10, the Shanghai plant – Tesla only outside the United States – exceeded its pre-shutdown capacity, reaching weekly production of 3,000 cars, the company said on month. latest.

(Updates with competing offers in the third paragraph.)

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