Tesla announced that pre-orders for Model 3 are now available in China.
According to a statement issued by the California-based firm, Model 3’s will be delivered to Chinese customers starting March at a starting price of 499,000 yuan ($72,700).
Model 3 is reported to have the traditional dashboard replaced with a computer monitor splashed across the center of the car. The display will be a touchscreen that integrates functions such as a navigation maps, multimedia, Internet, and autopilot aid.
Last month, Tesla cut the prices of Model 3 in China, following the price reduction on its Model X and S in November. The electric vehicle manufacturer aims to boost sales in China to counter the negative impact caused by trade friction between the U.S. and China.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s Shanghai plant, also known as the Gigafactory, has started to take shape. It is rumored that the plant will produce not only the Model 3, but also the newly approved Model Y. With a total investment of 50 billion yuan, the Gigafactory is by far the largest foreign-invested manufacturing plant in Shanghai.
CEO Elon Musk expressed his excitement for the project on Twitter. “Thanks Tesla owners in China! Looking forward to visiting soon for the groundbreaking of Gigafactory Shanghai!” wrote Musk.
The automaker aims to begin production by the end of next year at the Shanghai plant, accelerating the localization process of manufacturing and supply chain.
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The super factory is planning to integrate research, development, manufacturing, and sales. It will take the factory about 2 to 4 years of ramping up before it is able to reach an annual production of 500,000 vehicles.
In addition to the Chinese plant, Tesla is continuing its expansion in the U.S., putting it under heavy financial stress.
Featured photo credit to Tesla