We’ve got breaking news out of Bloomberg bright and early Friday morning:
Tesla Inc. will start delivering China-built cars on Monday, a major milestone for Elon Musk’s company as it mounts a push to expand in the world’s largest electric-vehicle market.
The first 15 units of Model 3 sedans assembled at Tesla’s new multi-billion-dollar Shanghai plant — it’s first outside the U.S. — will be delivered to company employees on Dec. 30, a Tesla representative said by phone on Friday.Bloomberg
Okay, it’s only fifteen cars. But it’s a symbolic milestone as Tesla goes from muddy field to first deliveries all in the course of 2019. The company likely wants to start deliveries in volume in Q1 to try and smooth out sales volume –– you don’t want too many deliveries in Q4 and not enough in Q1.
The launch will also provide clues about Tesla’s ability to truly go global. The company is planning to follow up with a production facility in Europe, where it is enjoying burgeoning sales growth in several markets.Bloomberg
If Gigafactory Shanghai is in any way indicative of how Tesla’s Europe expansion will go, the future looks very bright.
Earlier Friday, the China-built Model 3 was included on a list of vehicles qualifying for an exemption from a 10% purchase tax in the country. Tesla said in October the locally built Model 3 will be priced from about $50,000. Further helping Tesla, the China-built model this month qualified for a government subsidy of as much as about 25,000 yuan ($3,600) per vehicle.Bloomberg
This is the start of a new chapter in Tesla’s history.
BREAKING NEWS: Tesla will deliver the first China-made Model 3 on Monday. @elonmusk @teslaTweet