Tesla cuts prices once again in China, introduces S and X models

Tesla Inc. cut prices on its Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles in China by more than 10%, while also announcing prices for Model S sedans and Model X sports utility vehicles that it’s introducing to get a better grip in the premium end of the world’s biggest EV market. 

Starting prices for the locally-built Model 3 have been lowered to 229,900 yuan ($33,465) from 265,900 yuan, and to 259,900 yuan from 288,900 yuan for the Model Y, according to the company’s website Friday. 

Tesla already cut prices in China last year to boost sales as competition heats up in both the mass and premium segments, with the likes of Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co., Xpeng Inc. and Nio Inc., as well as international players such as Porsche AG and Mercedes Benz Group AG, all vying for sales. 

The newly introduced Model S, with a redesigned interior, is priced at 789,900 yuan, while the Plaid version — Tesla’s fastest car, taking only 2.1 seconds to go from zero to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour — will be sold from 1.01 million yuan. The Model X SUV is priced from 879,900 yuan and the Model X Plaid starts at 1.04 million yuan. Deliveries will begin as soon as in the first half of this year, Tesla said.

Austin-based Tesla is a dominant player in China’s mass-market EV sector — vehicles that cost no more than 300,000 yuan. The company localized production of Model 3 sedans at the end of 2019 when it opened a factory in Shanghai capable of churning out 450,000 cars a year. It started shipping Model Ys from there in January 2021. 

Tesla shipped over 710,000 vehicles from Shanghai in 2022, representing about 54% of its worldwide sales. But deliveries slowed in December as production was suspended for equipment upgrades and demand ebbed. Tesla announced earlier this week that global deliveries were lower than expected for a third-straight quarter, prompting a 12% slump in its share price Tuesday. – BLOOMBERG