Tesla Model 3 Arrives China in Advance
2019-02-26 13:25 Tuesday
Tesla started taking orders for Model 3 in China last year, and the first shipment of Tesla Model 3 cars arrived in Shanghai on Friday, which is at least a week earlier than previously estimated. In a previous announcement on Twitter, Elon Musk said that Tesla will start deliveries in March at the earliest, while "April is more certain." Besides, Tesla also started taking orders for a cheaper version of the vehicle, which was even not available in Europe.
The move appeared to aim at increasing short term demand for the vehicle in China and deliver more vehicles in March before the tariff changes in April, which may hold back Tesla's demand in the lucrative market.
Tesla's revenues from China fell 13 percent last year to $1.8 billion, which is the first drop since the brand entered China. The company disclosed in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 19.
Analysts believe that the automaker is trying to deliver as many vehicles as possible to China in the course of a temporary tariff relief. Insiders revealed that Shanghai port received more than 1,000 vehicles on Friday, most of which were the latest Model 3 vehicles. According to Shanghai Customs, this is the first large-scale Model 3 shipment arriving in Shanghai.
China is an important market for every automaker and Tesla is not the exception. The automaker said in October it operates at a 55 percent to 60 percent cost disadvantage compared with its Chinese peers.
To avoid the uncertain China-US tariff imposed on vehicle, Tesla has started the construction of Gigafactory in Shanghai, which is expected to start production by the end of 2019. Tesla said that manufacturing in the world's largest market for electric cars would help reduce transport and tariff costs.