Tesla kicks off marketing drive for made-in-China Model 3, estimated to sell at $43,400, above

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/29 20:48:40

A man finishes charging his Tesla car at a charging point outside Tesla China headquarters in Beijing, China. Photo: VCG

The long-awaited made-in-China Tesla Model 3 will be available for orders on Friday, Tesla announced on its official WeChat account on Wednesday. 

The US carmaker kicked off its promotional campaign for the Model 3 in recent days. On Monday, it posted a picture via its WeChat account that bore a mysterious "2019.5.31 please anticipate" slogan, sparking talk on Chinese social media. 

On Tuesday, Tesla posted an article on its WeChat and Weibo accounts inviting Chinese netizens to guess the price of the Tesla Model 3 based on some "clues". 

There are media reports citing sources as saying that the made-in-China Model 3 will cost between 300,000 yuan ($43,400) and 350,000 yuan. 

"It's hard to predict the Model 3's price, but I think Tesla will take the prices of similar products made by its Chinese competitors like Nio as a reference when pricing its own car, as the carmaker wouldn't want its Model 3s to be too expensive compared with those products," Wu Shuocheng, an independent car analyst, told the Global Times Wednesday. 

A Beijing Model 3 owner told the Global Times that she bought her wcar in March at about 450,000 yuan. 

"I don't think the configurations of the made-in-China Model 3s will be exactly the same as those of the Model 3s made in the US," she said. 

Wu said that considering the fast speed of Tesla's plant construction in Shanghai, and the elaborate social media marketing, Tesla has indeed placed a lot of hope on the sales of localized Model 3s in China. 

But he said that now is not a good time for Tesla because of the weak vehicle market in China. 

"China's car market is not good right now, with consumer confidence at a relatively low level. This is not very good for Tesla to maximize its local sales," Wu said. 

He also said that if the China-US trade war worsens, it will hurt Tesla's business in China. Although the cars are assembled in China, some of its parts are imported from the US. "This will eventually be reflected in higher prices in the end market."
Newspaper headline: Tesla kicks off marketing drive for Model 3, estimated to sell at $43,400, above

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