Facing backlash, Tesla showcases more affordable Model Y SUV in China

Locally-made Tesla Model Y was reportedly only available in Hong Kong so far.Base Model Y is priced just 10% higher than the enormously popular Tesla
File photo: Visitors look at a China-made Tesla Model Y electric vehicle at the Auto Shanghai 2021 show. (Bloomberg)
File photo: Visitors look at a China-made Tesla Model Y electric vehicle at the Auto Shanghai 2021 show.

Tesla has found going in China get tougher in recent months for numerous reasons ranging from suspicions over on-board cameras on its cars collecting sensitive data to allegations of bad quality. While its sales have remained robust, the bad press has had an impact on Tesla image even if it has now gone ahead and showcased its locally-built Model Y electric SUV.

While Model Y is the second most popular offering from Tesla in China, after Model 3, its price has meant that it isn't meant for every garage. Looking at making it more affordable, Tesla has now started manufacturing Model Y at its Shanghai facility for the local market as well. Units were previously being made for export to European markets.

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Priced at around 276,000 yuan (approximately 32 lakh) for the base standard range model, Model Y may now find more favour among a larger group of EV-buying audience in what is the world's largest EV market. This is around 10% more expensive than the Model 3. Many analysts feel that Tesla could now further bolster its sales figures in the country by making Model Y more affordable to own. The thrust from sales in China forms a key part of Tesla's global sales figures. "The company will continue its investment in China and carry on its corporate mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and helping to boost the realisation of a carbon-neutral target," the US automaker said in a statement, as per Bloomberg.

Favour for Tesla Model Y has been on an upswing with the more expensive long-range version - priced at 347,900 yuan, reaching 12,785 units in the month of May. With benefits from subsidy and now with local manufacturing, it could potentially replicate the success that the locally-manufactured Model 3 has had in the country. Will it be enough to cool down the heat that Tesla has faced in recent times? Time will tell.

First Published Date: 08 Jul 2021, 18:11 PM IST

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