Tesla seems to be kicking off the deliveries of the Made-in-China Model 3 ahead of schedule as transport trucks carrying the cars were seen leaving the automakers’s Shanghai Gigafactory.
The EV-maker initially expected to start delivering the China-made Model 3 in late January 2020. However, the expeditious approval of the Chinese sale permit and the company’s inclusion in the government list of EVs qualifying for subsidies seem to have allowed for a quicker start.
The news coincided with Tesla outpacing China’s BYD as the world’s largest electric automaker in terms of cumulative sales. According to estimations made by a YouTuber and data expert Kevin Rooke based on the companies’ quarterly delivery records, Tesla has surpassed BYD with 807,954 EV deliveries against 787,150 deliveries as of October 2019.
Interestingly, the figures presented by BYD’s also include plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sales, while Tesla’s numbers only encompass all-electric vehicles, since the company does not produce other kinds of EVs.
While BYD is struggling to keep pace with Elon Musk’s company, some other Chinese EV-makers like the Guangzhou-based Xpeng Motors claim to be excited about Tesla’s foray into the Chinese market.
“I always believe that having a good product that really gets the consumer interested and expands the overall market is good for the industry,” says Brian Gu, President of Xpeng Motors, implying that China’s EV market needs a catalyst that would invigorate the industry by forcing producers to focus on the quality of their products and their innovative potential.
If you want to explore China’s tech ecosystem but don’t know where to start, check out DecodeChina, a one-week immersion program organized by insiders from Pandaily. The latest installment will take place in Beijing and Shenzhen on January 13-19, 2020. Visit decode.pandaily.com to apply and secure a spot!