As part of the Model 3 delivery launch for regular customers in China, Tesla has now also officially launched the Model Y program. It is not yet clear when the Model Y will be produced in China, but Tesla has already announced prices and is accepting pre-orders.
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Elon Musk was on-site at the event in the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai and handed over the first vehicles to customers in person – the first 15 MIC Model 3 were already handed over to employees at an event at the end of December. The deliveries to end customers, however, are the significantly larger milestone – only less than a year after the start of construction work.
Musk also gave the official go-ahead for Tesla’s Model Y programme in China. It was already clear that, along with the Model 3, the Model Y would also be produced in the Gigafactory 3, only later. Musk did not name an exact production start or the beginning of deliveries. In the coming months, Model Y production is to start in Fremont.
We just delivered our first customer cars from Gigafactory Shanghai, marking only one year from when the teams broke ground on the site. pic.twitter.com/UfUxEyRQv0
— Tesla (@Tesla) January 7, 2020
“Ultimately Model Y will have more demand than probably all of the other Tesla cars combined,” says Musk. He again made it clear that the Model Y is not a pure SUV offshoot with Model 3 technology. “Model Y will also have advanced manufacturing technologies that we will reveal in the future.”
However, it is unlikely to be too long before the Model Y is launched in China, as the car manufacturer is reportedly already taking orders for the MIC Model Y. The electric SUV will be available in three versions, which are expected to cost between 444,000 and 535,000 RMB – the equivalent of between 56,900 euros and 68,600 euros. In comparison, the cheapest version of the MIC Model 3 SR+ now costs from 323,000 RMB. However, the state subsidy of 24,750 RMB is still deducted from this, which means that the Model 3 is available at prices starting at the equivalent of 38,500 euros. For the Model Y it would be around 53,800 euros with the premium included.
Update 8 January 2019: Further details of Musk’s speech at the above-mentioned event have now become public. According to CNBC, Tesla wants to create its own design and development centre in China and develop a special model there that will be sold worldwide. Like the Cybertruck, the new model will have an unexpected design. “I think something that would be super cool would be to – and so we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna try to do it – would be to create a China design and engineering centre to actually design an original car in China for worldwide consumption. I think this will be very exciting,” said Musk. He didn’t mention schedules for the model or the design and engineering centre.
There was only one statement about the new model that triggered speculation about the design – a comment on Chinese art history. “I think China has some of the best art in the world and I think it’s something that would be appreciated on a worldwide basis,” Musk is reported to have said. “I think it should be done, and we’re gonna do it.”
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