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Tesla Model 3 lineup expands in China, and now it's cheaper

Tesla will build Long Range and Performance versions at its plant in Shanghai, with local sales figures looking up.

- 01:30

The locally made Tesla family in China will grow this summer. The automaker updated its Chinese website to include new Tesla Model 3 Long Range and Model 3 Performance variants set for assembly at the company's production plant in Shanghai.

While Tesla has built the entry-level Model 3 in China since January, the Long Range and Performance variants were previously imported from the US. The move comes after Tesla shut down its only US car production plant in Fremont, California, to comply with local shelter-in-place orders to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

With the new additions, and as the automaker transitions the entire Model 3 lineup to local production in China, the company slashed the Model 3's starting price by 16%, bringing the cost to about $42,000 at current exchange rates and after local subsidies. The Model 3 Long Range will start at about $48,000 and the Performance version rings in at about $50,000.

The new Long Range version is the new variant that was previously rumored, which will boast a range of over 400 miles. The car should go 415 miles based on the WLTP test cycle, but take that figure with a grain of salt -- the WLTP cycle is outdated and notoriously liberal in its estimates.

Despite a massive slump in local sales across the industry, Tesla posted some good news out of China with its March sales figures. Sales rose to 10,160 cars, up from 3,900 in February. Moving forward, Tesla also plans to start production of the Model Y SUV locally, which just started deliveries in the US.

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