The electric automaker has invested heavily to expand into the Chinese market, the No. 1 car market in the world. But American companies in China have been caught in the crosshairs of the U.S.-China trade war and Tesla is no exception.
The company said in a statement on its Chinese website it would set the starting price of the Model 3 in China at 499,000 yuan ($72,000). This is the third time Tesla cut its Model 3 price in the last two months to adjust prices in China.
Tesla is in the early stages of building a massive Gigafactory in Shanghai, in an effort to localize supply chains and escape future tariffs. Tesla said it intends to initially produce 3,000 Model 3 cars per week, but production at the factory is still years away.
Tesla has been battling public and investor opinions for years thanks to its eccentric CEO Elon Musk. Tesla shares commonly see moves of 3% almost daily.
Tesla rarely meets set production schedules set by Musk, but with the China delivery announcement on Friday, Musk would be on a schedule he set in a tweet late last year to deliver to Chinese customers.
The company reported a slight car delivery miss on Wednesday, sending the stock tumbling. Tesla delivered 90,700 vehicles in the fourth quarter, below analyst consensus of 92,000. Model 3 deliveries were up 13% to 63,150, but below consensus of 64,900. Tesla delivered 145,846 Model 3 cars in 2018.
Tesla shares were rising 1.8% in premarket trading. The stock has fallen nearly 10% so far in 2019.