Tesla Model 3 just got a lot cheaper to buy in China

Just as local production begins to really ramp up, Tesla has slashed the price on its Model 3 locally.

The Model 3 is ready for an all-out assault on Chinese EV buyers.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Hot on the heels of record production and delivery numbers in the fourth quarter of last year, Tesla is ready to hit the ground running with its new Chinese factory. And as a cherry atop it all, the locally built Tesla Model 3 is going to be even cheaper to purchase now.

The carmaker slashed the starting price of the Model 3 by 9%, Bloomberg reported on Friday, bringing the US dollar equivalent to $46,500 at current exchange rates. The Model 3 previously cost a smidge over $50,000. After Chinese incentives for "new-energy vehicles," the price falls to just under $43,000 -- highly comparable to domestic Chinese automakers also looking to crack into the EV market. Citing its sources, Bloomberg added that as Tesla continues sourcing more components locally, the price should continue to fall.

The Chinese production plant has already started building about 1,000 Model 3 vehicles a day, though CEO Elon Musk's goal is to eventually churn out 3,000 cars a day. Tesla handed over the first 15 locally made Model 3 vehicles on Dec. 30 to employees and the automaker said mass deliveries are scheduled to kick off on Jan. 7.

The latest production plant is a major moment for Tesla as it's only the firm's second production plant in the world outside of its California facility. Building cars locally in China will help the company navigate the ongoing US-China trade war, too. Right now, there's zero indication Tesla will start shipping Chinese-built cars to the US, however.

But as Tesla's lineup fills out with the upcoming Model Y, Semi and Roadster, it's certainly a possibility. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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