Tesla Preps Rollout of Longer-Range Model 3 in China

Electric carmaker Tesla is preparing to roll out a longer-range version of its Model 3 sedan to the Chinese consumer market that has a range of more than 400 miles as early as this week.
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Electric carmaker Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report is prepping to roll out a longer-range version of its Model 3 sedan to the Chinese consumer market that has a range of more than 400 miles as early as this week. 

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the new iteration of the vehicle, which will come with a higher price tag, should begin rolling off the assembly line within days.

The vehicle would have a range of about 404 miles on one charge vs. about 280 miles for the current base version, which starts at a sticker price of $45,800. The battery-boosted version would start at just under $50,000 before rebates, though pricing has yet to be finalized, Bloomberg reported.

Like the current version, the longer-range Model 3 would qualify for electric-vehicle subsidies, and is also exempt from China’s car purchase tax.

Registrations of Tesla vehicles in China plunged in January and February as the economy went into lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak. Yet Tesla’s Shanghai factory has recovered better than others in the industry, helped by aid from local authorities, according to Bloomberg.

After resuming operations on Feb. 10, the factory has ramped back production, producing 3,000 cars a week, Tesla said last month.

Meantime, Tesla shares have gained traction in recent days after Jefferies analysts upgraded the company’s stock to buy from hold amid what they see as strong financial support from governments both in China as well as in Europe to support electric-vehicle sales.

Analyst Philippe Houchois expects Tesla sales to rise 27% in 2020, ahead of Wall Street's consensus estimates of 20% growth.

Shares of Tesla were up 6.35% at $549.02 in trading on Tuesday.