When Tesla introduced the first prototypes of the Model Y in 2019, it did so with the conviction that it would eventually end up becoming the most successful model in its range. According to the company’s estimates, in the future, this family SUV should be able to exceed combined sales of the Model S, Model X and Model 3. The latter has precisely become the world’s best-selling electric car in 2020, so the ambition to pass it are big words.
The truth is that the Model Y has led to several changes compared to other Tesla launches. First, the brand decided that its commercialization in markets such as China or Europe would only occur when local production began at Giga Shanghai (early 2021) and Giga Berlin (mid-2021). A move that presumably seeks to improve costs and the competitiveness of the Model.
Until recently, the Model Y was made exclusively at the Fremont factory; however, everything seems to indicate that Giga Shanghai production has already started. Tesla launched the Model Y’s online configurator on its Chinese page on New Year’s Day, surprising locals and strangers with a much lower price than expected.
Thus, the electric SUV rates have turned out to be 30% lower than previously announced by the brand itself. The Long Range Dual Motor variant will start at 339,900 yuan, a more than notable difference compared to the 488,000 yuan estimated at the time.
The Performance version is not far behind either, since with a price of 369,900 yuan, it is notably cheaper than the 535,000 yuan that could be seen until recently on the Tesla website. An even more affordable variant still needs to be added: the Long Range RWD (rear-wheel drive).
It is highly probable that Tesla already knew that the Chinese Model Y would be vastly cheaper to make than the American one; However, it may have decided to keep actual car prices secret until the last minute so as not to hurt the Model 3, which has become China’s best-selling electric in 2020.
These attractive rates have also been achieved without the 37,000 yuan bonus granted by the Chinese government to electric cars costing less than 300,000 yuan, from which the Model 3 Standard Range Plus RWD benefits. The Model Y’s crushing prices caused a surge in orders, surpassing 100,000 reservations in less than ten hours.