Tesla will deliver its first Chinese made Model 3 sedans to the public on January 7 at an event at its Shanghai plant, a representative for the firm told Reuters on Thursday. The Shanghai plant is part of the Silicon Valley automaker's plans to bolster its presence in the world's biggest auto market and minimise the impact of the US-China trade war. Fifteen Tesla employees who had purchased a car were the first to receive their Model 3s on Monday after the first China-made vehicles rolled off the plant's production line in October.
The deliveries come a year after construction of Tesla's only plant outside the United States began. Production started in October with a target of 250,000 vehicles a year once the Model Y is added to the lineup.
The Model 3 is priced at CNY 355,800 ($50,000) before subsidies. Tesla said previously that it wanted to start deliveries before the Chinese new year beginning on January 25.
Tesla's China General Manager Wang Hao said the company plans to ramp up Model 3 deliveries in January.
Tesla executives also told reporters the plant had achieved a production target of 1,000 units a week, or around 280 cars a day, and that sales for the China-made sedan had so far been "very good".
© Thomson Reuters 2019