Don't Expect a $35,000 Tesla Model 3 in China or Australia

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Months after promising a $35,000 base Model 3 in the United States, Tesla appears to have only just recently begun offering the “Standard Range” variant to the public. The vehicle comes with locked features and a 10-percent reduction in maximum range. However, most of the models milling around on public roads appear to be Standard Range Plus variants waiting on an over-the-air update to convert them into a normal SR.

Meanwhile, Tesla is looking at the Chinese market and calculating what the Model 3 will be worth there. It’s even asking Asian customers to hazard a guess as to what its base MSRP will be, claiming it has a big announcement scheduled for May 31st.

Bloomberg, which has already taken a stab at Tesla’s guessing game, cites inside sources who claim Tesla is currently considering pricing the vehicle between 300,000 yuan ($43,400) and 350,00 yuan ($50,600) before incentives. However, at least one source claims the official Chinese MSRP has yet to be finalized, and was unable to confirm if the end-of-month announcement is even related to the matter.

Considering that Chinese production of the Model 3 is still months away, Friday’s announcement has a decent chance of being about something else. Still, Tesla’s effort to encourage future customers to estimate the vehicle’s price means the company is actively thinking about it.

Certification documents from nearby Australia suggest Tesla will bring the pricier Performance and Long Range variants of the Model 3 for its initial launch, and the same could be true for China — meaning the global rollout would mimic what we’ve seen in the United States. Lower-margin variants probably won’t be a priority until worldwide demand for the well-equipped Model 3 peters out.

[Image: Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Wooootles Wooootles on May 28, 2019

    "Don’t Expect a $35,000 Tesla Model 3" FTFY.

  • Drew8MR Drew8MR on May 28, 2019

    LOL, I'm pretty sure Accords and Camrys are $50K in Australia at least, so yeah,probably not. My wife is from Canberra,and while I love the country, holy crap is it ridiculously expensive. I won't even go anymore when she visits,because we'll drop $$$$$$ even with free lodging.

    • See 2 previous
    • LDRcycles LDRcycles on May 31, 2019

      @Drew8MR I believe the last change in imported vehicle tariffs was about 15 years ago. There's still a 5% tariff today, despite local manufacturing ending in late 2017.

  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.
  • ToolGuy Also on to-do list: Read the latest Steve S. fiction work on TTAC (May 20 Junkyard Find)
  • 1995 SC I'm likely in the minority, but I really liked the last Eldorado best. That and the STS.