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Tesla rates China-made Model 3 at 328,000 yuan as China's plan accelerates




By Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh

BEIJING (Reuters) ̵[ads1]1; US Electric Vehicle (EV) Manufacturer Tesla Inc said on Friday that it would cost its China-made model 3 vehicles from 328,000 yuan ($ 47,529 ), as it pushes production and sales on the world's largest new energy market.

The car manufacturer has built a factory in China since January, where it will begin to produce model 3 cars. Vehicle pre-orders will also start on Friday, the company says on its website.

The standard range plus model 3 is 49,000 yuan cheaper than China's current cheapest version, also the standard range plus, although it remains unclear whether the car manufacturer will receive China's subsidies for new energy vehicles.

Starting prices for five different versions of China-made Model 3s range from 328,000 to 522,000 yuan. Customers can expect to receive the car in 6-10 months, the company says.

The higher version of model 3 will still be imported from the US.

Investors focus on whether the gross profit margin On model 3 will remain around 20 percent in China.

CRUCIAL PRODUCTION

Doubts about model 3's production rate and sales performance have hit Tesla's share price in recent months.

Car manufacturing locally will likely help Tesla minimize the impact of the US and China trade war, which has forced the EV manufacturer to adjust its US car prices in China.

Chess prizes will also help Tesla to stave off competition from a domestic EV launch such as Nio Inc, Weltmeister and XPeng Motors, as well as established car manufacturers such as Volkswagen and General Motors.

Tesla's so-called Gigafactory is China's first completely foreign owned car factory and is seen as a reflection of the country's wider shifts to open up the car market.

Pictures from the Shanghai plant that were posted on Tesla's social media account showed that the construction of the main part was almost finished. The company also arranged a recruitment event this week for car production and logistics workers.

Tesla predicted that delivery in 2019 would reach 360,000 to 400,000 cars and said it could produce as many as 500,000 cars if its factory in China reaches volume production in the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates)



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