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Tesla cuts price for China-made Model 3 vehicles before delivery


SHANGHAI: US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc cut the starting price for its China-made Model 3 sedans by 16 per cent to 299,050 yuan ($42,919) after receiving Chinese subsidies for electric vehicles, according to its China website.

The reduction, partly thanks to 24,750 yuan of subsidies, from an earlier 355,800 yuan is among a slew of adjustments Tesla has made to its sales policy in China, including tweaking prices for car accessories and home charging facilities.

Tesla has said it plans to start delivering cars, made at its $2 billion factory in Shanghai, to the public on January 7.

Fifteen Tesla employees who had purchased the car were the first to take delivery 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.

Earlier this week, Tesla said that 30 per cent of its China supply chain was localised, which means some car parts are shipped in to build its cars. The automaker wants to completely localise its China supply chain by end-2020, it said at the time.

Tesla plans to ramp up Model 3 deliveries in January and will double the number of service centres and fast charging stations in China in 2020, its executives have said. The plant has achieved a production target of 1,000 units per week, or around 280 cars a day, and that sales for the China-made sedan had so far been “very good”, according to the executives.

Meanwhile, the sale of new electric cars in Norway rose by 30.9 per cent last year amid soaring demand for Tesla Inc’s vehicles, but the pioneering US firm faces rising competition from rival auto makers in 2020.

Fully electric cars made up 42.4 per cent of sales in the Nordic nation last year, a global record, rising from a 31.2 per cent market share in 2018 and just 5.5 per cent in 2013, the Norwegian Road Federation said on Friday.

Seeking to become the first country to end the sale of fossil-fuelled cars by 2025, Norway exempts battery-powered vehicles from the taxes imposed on petrol and diesel engines.

This year, as many as six in 10 of all new cars sold in the country could be fully electric, said Volkswagen (VW) distributor Harald A Moeller AS, which is preparing to launch several models in 2020.

“The electrification of the car market is accelerating... we forecast electric vehicles to hold a 100 per cent market share in 2025,” the importer said of the outlook for Norway.

The country’s best-selling car in 2019 was Tesla’s mid-sized Model 3 sedan, which retails from 384,900 Norwegian crowns ($43,721.74), racking up an 11 per cent market share in the California-based firm’s first attempt at addressing the mass market. — Reuters

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