May 24, 2019

China is Currently Holding 1600 Teslas at Customs

08 March 2019, 02:41 | Hattie Nash

China is Currently Holding 1600 Teslas at Customs

A side view of Tesla's new Model 3 car on display is seen on Friday

Clearance was held up after Chinese customs discovered misprinted labels on certain Model 3 cars.

Local business weekly Caixin reported Tuesday that China's customs administration had suspended imports of its Model 3 cars and was holding more than 1,600 of the vehicles - briefly sending Tesla's stock tumbling in the US.

Tesla is fixing the labels under the supervision of customs officials, who will resume clearances after they pass review, CCTV said.

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In its Q4 Update letter, Tesla said that "In January 2019, we started to produce Model 3 vehicles for Europe and China, and the auto is now fully certified for sale in these markets".

The world's largest electric vehicle market making inroads into China is crucial for Tesla. Daniel Ives an analyst from Wedbush Securities said that "Selling into China has clear hurdles and this is a reminder of the pitfalls when betting on growth in the region".

Less than a week after having launched the new base versions of the Model 3, Tesla has already produced the first batch of Model 3 vehicles with the standard battery.

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Musk has played up the support Tesla is getting from Chinese authorities as the company invests in the country's first wholly foreign-owned auto plant in Shanghai, due to come online later this year.

The U.S. electric carmaker broke ground on the Shanghai factory in January and its CEO Elon Musk has said the firm aims to finish initial construction this summer and start production of the Model 3 toward the end of the year.

"The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model", Musk said at the time.

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