American electric carmaker Tesla will start deliveries of its China-made Model Y SUV this month to its customers in the country, as it set the vehicle at a price below some of its rivals to maintain a competitive edge.
The Model Y starts from $52,074, while the Model Y Performance car will be from $56,620, Tesla China said in a statement. Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has said the Model Y has the potential to outsell all other vehicles it makes.
Tesla also launched a modified Model 3 sedan which remained at a post-subsidy price of $38,251 for the basic version. The Model 3 qualifies for China’s national subsidy for electric vehicles, while the Model Y doesn’t.
China is Tesla’s largest market after the US, with sales in Asia’s biggest economy topping 120,000 units in 2020, according to the latest local registration data. Tesla is still ramping up production in Shanghai, prompting analysts to forecast that China will account for a bigger slice of its sales and earnings going forward.
The Model Y, a SUV crossover that has a driving range of up to 594 kilometers (369 miles), is expected to help the electric carmaker expand its product lineup and target on a bigger customer base.
Tesla regularly improved monthly premium electric vehicle sales tallies in 2020, helped by the sedans coming out from its multi billion dollar plant that was launched with much anticipation in Shanghai the 2019. Still, last year was also marked by rivals catching up, and 2021 is expected to hand the company stiffer competition.
A trio of local champions in China Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto has emerged. They are enjoying backing from government entities or internet giants, and the three startups are quickly winning fans, with sales of their electric SUVs, sedans and crossovers rising in 2020 and their shares surging. Nio’s electric SUV for example, sells at $5632 or more.