Tesla begins sales of cheapest yet Model 3 auto variant in China

Irving Hamilton
April 13, 2019

It hasn't even been two months since Tesla unveiled the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3, but it's already been removed from the online configurator, relegating it to off-menu ordering, like a weird Jamba Juice smoothie. The price in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden is equivalent to around €50,000.

Previously, the starting price for a Model 3 in China was 407,000 yuan for a rear-wheel-drive long range version with no Autopilot. The Model 3 with Standard Plus battery range used to cost US$37,500, plus US$3,000 for Autopilot. We can expect to see some European delivery timing information emerging in the coming weeks. Thus, the latest iteration of $35,000 Model 3 loses its standard heated seats (sort of) and a couple miles of range (90% of 240 is 216, compared to its original estimated range of 220 miles). Customers after the limited standard model will have to call or go into tone of their brick and mortar Tesla stores as the model has now been removed from the online store. Buyers can choose any Model 3 variant with annual mileage options of 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000.

Before we know it, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range will only be available for purchase through Stefon.

The new Standard will have a software-limited range that's 10 percent less than the Plus. "We're making these changes to ensure that our online order process is focused exclusively on the three Model 3 variants customers want most", it said. Most auto leases give you the option to buy the vehicle outright at the end of the lease period, but not Tesla.

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According to Tesla, it noticed the slightly pricier Standard Plus variant (with 386km range) was selling at over six times the rate of the Standard Range model, and therefore chose to "simplify our production operations to better optimise cost, minimise complexity and streamline operations".

Anyone who buys this vehicle now has the option of paying an additional cost once they get their auto to have these features unlocked.

Tesla said customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their auto at the end of the lease, because "with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-the-air software update", Tesla plans to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network.

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