Tesla’s Game-Changing Move – ‘Made in China’ Model 3 Shakes Up South Korea
Tesla Model 3, Highlander
All domestic supply is from China
Will the cost-effective strategy work?
Tesla is bringing in the mid-sized electric sedan Model 3 Facelift from China. Tesla has been cutting prices globally to increase its electric vehicle market share, and its low-price strategy has been working surprisingly well in Korea with its Shanghai-made Model Y.
The US-made Model Y was made available in the domestic market first. Still, since last year, the price has been lowered by selling Chinese-made vehicles that use cheaper batteries or have reduced battery capacity. The Model 3 is also expected to follow the same path with its facelift, and a price reduction is expected.
How much difference will the Chinese Model 3 make?
China’s presence in Korea has grown rapidly, with Tesla importing the Chinese Tesla Model Y last year. There were some negative responses about being ‘made in China’ and not encouraging trust, but the results differed. A total of 13,885 Model Ys were sold in Korea in 2023, and in overall imported cars, it was No. 3 right after the Mercedes E-Class and BMW’s 5 Series. Considering that the Chinese Model Y has been introduced since the year’s second half, it’s a fantastic feat.
The industry believes that the main reason for the nearly doubled sales of the Model Y was the reduced price after changing the manufacturing country to China. In the case of the Chinese Model Y, the performance has slightly decreased with a driving range of 217 miles and a top speed of 135 miles, but it is maintaining an average level among electric vehicles.
Tesla Model 3 Highlander
More affordable with an LFP battery
Tesla has gained massive popularity in the electric vehicle market with its cost-effectiveness, using LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries, which are less efficient but less expensive. The Model 3 will also use an LFP battery and plans to sell in two trims: the Model 3 Long Range with a dual motor and the Model 3 RWD with a rear-wheel single motor.
The facelifted Model 3 will be significantly different from the existing model. About 50% of the existing parts were replaced with new parts, resulting in a sleeker body than the existing model. The sleek body improved the air resistance coefficient by 8%, and the driving distance of the rear-wheel drive model could be increased to a maximum of 237 miles.
Release after the Ministry of Environment certification is completed and subsidies are confirmed
According to the automobile industry on the 22nd, Tesla recently completed the emission and noise certification work for the new Model 3 in Korea. After the Ministry of Environment’s 2024 electric vehicle subsidy policy is confirmed in February, the Tesla Model 3 facelift model will likely be officially released.
The Model 3 is the cheapest model that Tesla sells. As the price ceiling for receiving subsidies is expected to decrease, the lowest price of the Model 3 is likely to change according to the changing standards. Tesla is expected to announce the price of the Model 3 to be released this year once the domestic subsidy payment plan is confirmed.