First Tesla Model 3 deliveries begin in China

The automaker delivered its first 15 Model 3 electric cars to employees.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Tesla Model 3 deliveries in China

The first of many, for sure.

Tesla, via Twitter

While the world prepares to ring in a new decade, Tesla had a big reason to celebrate early. On Monday, the electric carmaker delivered its first batch of Model 3 vehicles to Chinese customers at its local Gigafactory.

Although only 15 cars were delivered, it's the start of what the company hopes will help propel it to success in China in the years to come. In the past, tariffs on vehicles imported to China have creamed Tesla and raised prices on its cars. Building the vehicle locally will help avoid such tariffs. It's also a wholly owned Tesla plant and does not include a joint venture to operate -- rules China is phasing out slowly.

Tesla posted photos and statements on its Weibo account in China and on Twitter. The carmaker thanked those involved for their work in the past year while construction was underway on the new plant and said it's ready to move forward.

The company delivered the first Model 3 vehicles to employees, though locals have also reported the plant's holding lot is already chock-full of the electric sedans headed out to Chinese delivery centers across the country. Tesla could very well be close to starting mass deliveries quite soon.

On deck is a third vehicle assembly center in Europe. CEO Elon Musk said earlier this year that Germany would be home to another Gigafactory to produce vehicles locally in the European Union. As the EU cracks down on emissions, local production could be yet another boon to the automaker that continues to surprise.

Watch this: Take a look at the best electrified cars, from Prius to Model 3

Tesla Model 3 barrels through the snow in Track Mode

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