Tesla held a “Made in China Model 3 Employee Delivery Ceremony” in Shanghai on Monday, delivering the first domestically produced Model 3 cars to the first batch of employee owners. The Shanghai gigafactory was put into operation earlier this year and started the manufacture of Model 3 electric cars in October, according to Bloomberg.
The ceremony included an in-person demonstration of the Model 3 vehicle featuring a Tesla employee. Each new owner received their car on the stage. The event was live-streamed on Yi Zhibo, a livestream platform backed by Chinese social media platform Weibo, and reached 21,500 views.
The first 15 owners of Chinese-produced Model 3 cars were all Tesla employees who purchased the vehicle through pre-orders. According to Tesla’s China General Manager Wang Hao, the company is expected to ramp up its deliveries in January 2020.
The price of the domestic Model 3 starts at 355,800 yuan ($50,000) before subsidies, making it slightly cheaper than its imported US counterpart. According to Bloomberg, Tesla is looking to lowering the starting price of the made-in-China Model 3 to below 300,000 yuan to compete with Chinese electric vehicles makers like Nio and Xpeng. With a new energy subsidy of around 25,000 yuan under the current national scheme, and a recent announced exemption from the vehicles purchase tax by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, sources said Tesla’s domestic new model could be very appealing to Chinese customers.