Tesla is gearing up to deliver to the public the first of its Model 3 sedans made in China on 7 January, marking a milestone for the electric car maker.
According to media reports, the first Model 3 will be delivered during an event at its plant in Shanghai. It will come a few days after fifteen Tesla employees who had purchased the Model 3 were delivered their vehicles.
Gigafactory Shanghai built in record time for Tesla
The deliveries come a year following the construction of its Chinese plant, which was completed ahead of schedule. The Gigafactory Shanghai was built in ten months and was 65% less expensive to build than Tesla's plants in the U.S. Production of the Model Y is expected to kick off in the summer, ahead of schedule. Tesla has a goal of churning out 150,000 Model 3's a year in China.
"China is by far the largest market for mid-sized premium sedans. With Model 3 priced on par with gasoline-powered mid-sized sedans (even before gas savings and other benefits), we believe China could become the biggest market for Model 3," said Tesla in its third-quarter earnings report.
Tesla to pickup Model 3 production in January
Wang Hao, Tesla's China general manager told Reuters the electric car maker plans to increase Model 3 production during January. The company has reached the 1,000 units per week target in Shanghai, which amounts to about 280 vehicles daily, reported Reuters. Tesla has yet to say how many pre-orders it received in China for the Model 3, which costs about $50,000 without any incentives.
Tesla's Shanghai plant is part of its efforts to expand its addressable market. China is a huge opportunity and by opening a plant in the country Tesla can get around the trade war between the U.S. and China, which has been raging for months. To make sure its electric cars are a hit in China, Tesla has been building service centers and charging stations around the country.