It’s been three months since we reported that Tesla was officially hiring in Chile, thus announcing the arrival of its EVs in South America’s southernmost country. Well, it’s now official — the store is open, pricing has been announced, and it’s been a pleasant surprise to find that Tesla is not marking up its vehicles like most other brands do.
Tesla’s competitive pricing
I’ve talked before about GM, Ford, and every single Chinese manufacturer bringing their vehicles into the region at a significant extra cost, be it the Chevy Bolt at $49,000, the Ford Mustang Mach-E at $73,000, or the BYD Dolphin at $35,000. As a matter of fact, Tesla itself is to blame for this in the Mexican market, where the base Model 3 costs a staggering $52,000, over ten thousand dollars more than in the neighboring United States.
Thus, it was a general surprise for all EV followers when this ended up not being the case in Chile, where the Model 3 was announced with a starting price point of $39’900.000 Chilean peso ($42,000), while the Model Y starts at $42’900.000 Chilean peso ($45,000).
A few months ago, we could’ve seen Tesla easily overtaking the EV market in Chile thanks only to this. However, competition seems to have been heating up since I last checked, and most EV models are now sold at a significant discount compared with July 2023. It could well be that Tesla’s arrival forced the hand of the competition, or it may be a different process, but in any case, Chile currently offers some of the most competitive EV prices in the region:
Despite its very competitive prices, and the comparably developed charging infrastructure, Chile remains relatively behind in the path to electrification, barely getting to 1% plug-in vehicle market share in late 2023. This may well be because, just like with EVs, ICEVs seem to be significantly cheaper in Chile than in the rest of the region.
Chile’s car market is the second largest in South America, only being surpassed by Brazil, so electrification in this country can go a long way in cleaning up road transport on the continent. Tesla’s arrival, at these prices, is a step in the correct direction.