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Tesla's Model Y gets made at plant in Shanghai

Hu Yumo
The US electric carmaker said its Model Y cars will be manufactured in its Shanghai Gigafactory from next year as consumer demand rises in China's new-energy vehicle market. 
Hu Yumo

US electric carmaker Tesla is to make Model Y cars at its Shanghai plant from next year, according to the company's official website.

Model Y is the company’s second vehicle to be made at its Shanghai Gigafactory, following the Model 3.

China's new-energy vehicle market is seeing consumer demand rising. In July, sales of new-energy vehicles ended 12 straight months of decline with a 19.3 percent jump to 98,000 units — 79,000 electric vehicles (a rise of 24.2 percent year on year) and 19,000 plug-in hybrids (up 2.7 percent).

Reservations are being taken for two Model Y variants — a dual-motor all-wheel-drive long-range version priced at 488,000 yuan (US$70,592) and a performance version costing 535,000 yuan. The long-range version is said to have a range of 505 kilometers and the performance version a range of 480 kilometers. The company's Model 3 costs 271,550 yuan.

In the US, the long-range version of Model Y is priced at US$43,690 and the performance version US$49,990. Tesla said Model Y prices are only an estimate and the actual price is subject to a final announcement.

Chinese buyers have to pay 20,000 yuan to reserve a Chinese-made Model Y. A full self-driving feature is available as an add-on for Model Y at 64,000 yuan, according to the company.

Tesla unveiled a Model Y electric sport-utility vehicle in the US in March last year, built on the same platform as the Model 3.

Tesla all-wheel drive has two independent motors, each with only one moving part for minimal maintenance and maximum durability. Unlike traditional all-wheel-drive systems, they digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels offers better handling and traction control, according to the company.

Late last month, Tesla said it was hiring designers for its Shanghai Gigafactory. It plans to add 1,000 factory workers as it ramps up production in the world’s biggest auto market.

It was the first time the US carmaker had looked to hire designers in China. The company said in January it planned to open a design and research center in China to make “Chinese-style” cars.

Li Yanwei, an analyst at the China Automobile Dealers Association, said the price of Chinese-made Model Y is expected to be further adjusted. The price of 488,000 yuan for the long-range version puts it in competition with models that include the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, Range Rover Velar and Porsche Macan. 

According to the latest data from China Passenger Car Association, Tesla delivered 11,014 cars in Chinese market in July, ranking first among all electric car models.

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