[Updated With Pricing] Tesla Model 3 Configurator Opens In China

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Update: The pricing for the Chinese Tesla Model 3 Performance plus several options has been revealed now as well. See here:

We reported earlier today, based on tweets from Elon Musk, that Tesla plans to start delivering Model 3s to customers in China in March of 2019. Or, if something delays those initial deliveries, the first Model 3 customer in China will get her/his car in April.

Now we have word from our friend Vincent in China that the Tesla Model 3 configurator has just opened for reservation holders there.

What is there to add about this? Mostly just context about what we’d heard before, how this lines up with expectations, and what it might mean about Tesla Model 3 demand and production overall.

It has long been expected based on statements from Tesla (Elon Musk) that Model 3 deliveries would begin in China and Europe in the first half of 2019, or even in the first quarter. Recent news regarding Model 3 show & tell events in Europe suggest that Tesla is getting ready to open the configurator for customers there in order to prep production plans for Q1 deliveries. It’s a little surprising to see the configurator pop open in China before Europe, but maybe it’s just that Europeans got the invite as well but are still sleeping. In any case, it looks as though Tesla is ready to collect information from customers abroad to find out what trims they want — how many Performance Model 3s and Long Range Model 3s to produce and prep for them.

A key question at this point is whether Q1 2019 will be the quarter when Tesla starts delivering significant volumes to Europe. If not, that indicates Tesla has considerably strong demand for high-spec versions of the Model 3 in North America. The company doesn’t seem to be moving lower than the Mid Range Model 3 on the price scale any time soon.

If Tesla collects European and Chinese order data in the coming month and a half, it can then start producing the vehicles in the beginning of Q1 2019 to deliver by the end of Q1 in Europe and China. If Tesla has strong demand in the US, it could theoretically postpone overseas deliveries further, till Q2 2019, but remember that the non-US cars are a bit different. Tesla can’t just produce a Model 3 and then send it to any country. So, it seems that the company has reached the point where it has settled on producing Chinese and European Model 3s at the beginning of the first quarter of 2019 and then getting as many of those early Model 3s as possible to some smiling European and Chinese customers by the end of Q1 — or early Q2 if there are unforeseen challenges.

Any other thoughts on the news?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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