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File photo of customers looking at a Tesla Model Y at a showroom in Beijing. (AFP)
File photo of customers looking at a Tesla Model Y at a showroom in Beijing. (AFP)

Tesla prolongs delivery time of China-made Model Y, signals strong demand

  • Model Y is being produced now at Tesla plant in Shanghai which had so far only made Model 3.
  • Model Y is an electric SUV and local production could bring down prices.
  • Despite competition, Tesla has a firm grip on the Chinese EV market.

Tesla Inc. customers in China wanting to get the new locally made Model Y are facing a longer wait, signaling strong initial demand for the Shanghai-built SUV.

A basic version of the electric vehicle purchased now will be delivered in the second quarter, and a performance variant in the third quarter, Tesla’s website showed. When Tesla announced the price last week and started sales, it said deliveries would take place this month.

(Also read: Tesla opens world's largest Supercharger station in China's Shanghai)

A strong start for the SUV would be a boon for Tesla as it seeks to maintain its lead in the premium segment over rivals such as Nio Inc. Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has said the Model Y has the potential to outsell all other vehicles it makes, and the company set the car’s price below some other marques to keep a competitive edge.

“Based on the order intake and our production plan, we have adjusted the Model Y delivery time of latest orders to the second quarter," a Tesla representative said via WeChat on Thursday.

(Also read: Tesla sets price of China-made Model Y SUV below competitors)

China is Tesla’s largest market after the US, and analysts are predicting the nation will account for a bigger slice of its sales and earnings going forward. The company regularly topped monthly premium electric-car sales tallies in 2020, helped by the vehicles coming out of its multibillion-dollar Shanghai plant that was launched about a year ago.

The Model Y starts from 339,900 yuan ($52,600), while the Model Y Performance car has a starting price of 369,900 yuan.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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