The first deliveries of Tesla Model 3 sedans of made-in-China began on Tuesday, one year after the U.S. automaker started construction in its Shanghai factory, the first outside the United States.
The delivery is a milestone for the company as it tries to carve out a piece in the world's biggest auto market. The automaker also hopes the move will lessen the financial pain caused by tariffs.
Tesla said that the production line at the factory in China will have a capacity of 150,000 units annually. The company also said it will be a simplified, more cost-effective version of the Model 3 line than its U.S. factory.
Prior to the made-in-China Model 3 cars, the price of an imported Tesla Model 3 vehicle stood above 439,900 yuan (about 63,000 U.S. dollars) in the Chinese market. The Shanghai-made sedans start at 355,800 yuan. In its financial report, Tesla believes that China could become the biggest market for the Model 3.
Tesla signed an agreement with the Shanghai municipal government in July 2018 to build the factory. In October 2018, the company was approved to use an 864,885-square-meter tract of land in Lingang for its Shanghai plant.
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