Chinese Tesla Plant to Make First Deliveries Before Year's End
Tesla’s first foreign assembly plant will make its first deliveries — to a handful of employees — on December 30th, just shy of a goal marker it set for itself at the beginning of the year.
Construction of the automaker’s $2 billion Shanghai facility kicked off back in January with a promise to reach a production rate of 1,000-plus vehicles per week by the end of the year. While the plant’s production rate is not known, it received the necessary regulatory approvals for production in September, with the first Model 3s assembled in October.
According to Reuters, the first individuals to receive Chinese-built Teslas on Monday will be 15 Tesla employees, which raises the question of just how many Model 3s the company built over the past two months and change.
Deliveries to non-employees should begin before the Chinese New Year (January 25th), the company claimed.
In the past, Tesla had a habit of setting weekly production goals months in advance, then moving the goalposts back as the production ramp-up fell short of expectations. Given the startling speed at which Tesla got its Shanghai facility up and running, it’s possible this plant achieved the near-impossible. The first week of January will tell the tale, as CEO Elon Musk would surely boast about reaching a 1,000-per-week rate in the final days of December.
Once the Model Y joins the Model 3 in Shanghai, vehicles could leave the plant to the tune of a quarter-million units per year. That’s the automaker’s ultimate goal, anyway.
Tesla’s lowest-rung model starts around $50,000 in China, but its appeal could get a shot in the arm in 2020 thanks to a scrapped purchase tax. A recent report claims the Model 3 could see a price reduction of up to 20 percent. While “new energy” vehicle sales have taken a hit in China following the removal of state subsidies, a price chop, coupled with reduced competition from artificially propped up Chinese startups, works in Tesla’s favor. The Model 3’s significant base range doesn’t hurt it, either.
[Image: Aleksei Potov/Shutterstock]
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