Tesla's Long-Range Model 3 Will Soon Enter Production in China

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【Summary】Two new versions of Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 went live on the company’s online design studio in China for the first time. The electric cars will be produced at the company's new Shanghai gigafactory.

Manish Kharinta    May 26, 2020 4:30 PM PT
Tesla's Long-Range Model 3 Will Soon Enter Production in China

Two new variants of Tesla's mass-market Model 3 went live on the company's online design studio last week in China for the first time. These versions include the Long Range and Performance Long Range variants, which will be produced at the company's new Shanghai gigafactory.

The Long Range RWD and Performance Long Range AWD Model 3 will now be manufactured at Tesla's new Shanghai factory alongside the Standard Range Plus RWD version. Previously, only the Standard Model 3 was produced in China.

Production of the Standard Range Model 3 officially began in December 2019. The Shanghai gigafactory is Tesla's first overseas plant.

Buyers wanting the upgraded Long Range rear-wheel-drive Model 3 can now expect deliveries to begin as early as June. It's estimated that the deliveries of the top-of-the-line Performance Model 3 will start sometime in the first quarter of 2021 in China.

As of last month, Tesla only offered the Made-in-China versions of its Model 3 in the country. The company suspended imports of all American-made cars on March 23 to combat the COVID19 outbreak.

There are some minor differences between the made-in-China versions of Model 3 and the ones produced at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, as both versions are manufactured using parts from different suppliers. However, the overall technical specifications of the Chinese and American versions remain exactly the same.

Understandably, the made-in-China variants are considerably less expensive than the American copies of the electric car, since they are produced locally. 

By manufacturing the Model 3 locally, Tesla has circumvented all import tariffs and hefty shipping charges. This makes the company less susceptible to damage from any future trade wars that may break out between the U.S. and China.

In addition, the Chinese government is offering a subsidy of 24,750 yuan (US$3,500) for the Model 3, which will undoubtedly boost sales for Tesla in the world's biggest auto market.

Chinese buyers will also benefit from the fact that Tesla has lowered the production costs of the Model 3's produced in China. 

Prices for the Standard Range Plus version of Model 3 start at 299,050 yuan (US$42,279). The all-new Long Range RWD version costs 13% more, starting at 339,050 yuan (US$47,934).

The top of the line Performance AWD version is priced at 419,800 yuan (US$59,350) in China before subsidies, which is $12,738 cheaper than the American made version. 

The more powerful Model 3 Performance gets a 329-mile WLTP range, whereas the Long Range variant offers a range of 415 miles, as per NEDC standards.

At first, The Shanghai Gigafactory 3 facility was only going to produce the more affordable versions of Tesla Model 3 and Model Y crossover. However, this strategy was revised by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk and the company now plans on producing its entire lineup out of its Chinese facilities.

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