Tesla lowers China Model 3 price in the face of local subsidy changes

Tesla will decrease the price of its Made in China Model 3. The price reduction will allow the all-electric sedan to qualify for the country’s EV subsidies, which apply to cars under the price of 300,000 yuan.

After the Chinese Finance Ministry announced last week that it would cut subsidies for “new-energy vehicles” by 10%, many of the country’s pricier battery-electric cars were knocked out of the running. The new cutoff for pricing to be eligible for the subsidies is 300,000 yuan, or about $42,489.90.

The revision to subsidy pricing points would effectively disqualify the Made in China Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, a vehicle that costs 323,800 yuan, or roughly $45,860.77. As noted by Elon Musk in the recently-held earnings call, Tesla is actually working on reducing the initial purchase cost of the Model 3 in China so that the vehicle can qualify for the government subsidies.

“We are making rapid progress on lowering the production costs in China, and we’re actually excited to announce on this call that we will be reducing the price of the standard range Model 3 tomorrow,” Musk said during the company’s Q1 2020 Earnings Call.

The Chinese government recognizes any car with plug-in capabilities to receive power as a “new-energy vehicle.” It applies to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

In late March, Chinese Premier Li Leqiang announced that the country would extend subsidies for environmentally-friendly vehicles for two years. The extension is aimed to combat the economic downturns that resulted from a halt in vehicle production and deliveries in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down Giga Shanghai for a few weeks following the Chinese New Year.

The subsidies applied to cars that offered at least 400 kilometers, or about 250 miles, of electric range. Consumers who purchased a vehicle that fit the “new-energy” template and offered the minimum range requirement would receive a 25,000 yuan, or $3,600, subsidy that would reduce the cost of the vehicle.

The inclusion of subsidies to electric vehicles in China would undoubtedly entice buyers to consider a battery-powered car. The reduction in price for the Model 3, along with the government subsidies, would let buyers own a high-performance electric vehicle from Tesla for a very reasonable price.

Tesla’s impressive presence in China has been backed by the company’s quick and adaptive production lines at the Giga Shanghai production plant. Tesla noted in its Q1 2020 Update Letter that the Chinese production facility is poised to reach an annual production rate of 200,000 cars. While the facility currently only builds the Model 3 sedan, Tesla is currently working on the construction of Giga Shanghai’s Phase 2, a project that will allow for the introduction of the Model Y.

Tesla lowers China Model 3 price in the face of local subsidy changes

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