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article imageTesla customers in Europe and China able to configure Model 3s

By Ken Hanly     Jan 5, 2019 in Technology
Tesla began taking reservations for Model 3s in both Europe and China at year's end of 2018. After making a $1,000 deposit customers were able to use the Tesla online configurator. However, now the customer can use the company's "design studio" as well.
The studio will be open to those with reservations in China as well as many left-hand drive countries in Europe including France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden along with others. In a tweet the company said: "Model 3 configurator is now open to left-hand drive countries in Europe. Design your Model 3"
Just two Model 3 versions available to configure at present
Just the long range all-wheel drive Model 3 and its jazzier counterpart the Model 3 Performance are available for configuration at present. The medium range Model 3 which is just rear-wheel drive and travels 260 miles on a charge is not listed on the design studio. The model was announced in October.
The mass market Model 3 is Tesla's fastest selling car ever
The Model 3 has become Tesla's fastest selling car. The company has been anxious to bring it to new markets especially China which is the largest EV market in the world. The European market is almost tied with that of the US. In 2018 Tesla concentrated on meeting the demand in North America for its most affordable car. This helped the company have its first profitable quarter in the last two years. Selling the model 3 in new markets may help Tesla show profits again.
As US market for Model 3 cools it could heat up in Europe and China
Tesla not only managed to meet demand for the Model 3 in the US, it had over 3,000 of the cars in stock at the end of the year. Tesla was so anxious to sell off its stock before the US federal tax credit for each car was cut in half at the end of the year that it kept some stores open until midnight on New Year's Eve as was reported in a recent Digital Journal article. The tax credit also reduces in June and phases out the end of 2019 for Tesla EVs. The company has already cut the price of all its US models to compensate for the halving of the government tax credit. Many US customers may be waiting to buy the cheaper $35,000 basic Model 3 which is not yet in production but will be sometime later this year.
Bringing the Model 3s to China and Europ may also help to provide profits while the company waits for new models such as the Model Y crossover SUV to come into production in the US.
Tesla planning to build cars in Europe and China
The company has already signed an agreement just last summer to build its third Gigafactory ibn China just outside Shanghai. In a change from earlier regulations, Tesla will solely own the factory with no Chinese partner. It is likely there will be a fourth Gigafactory built in Europe but there has been no announcement yet of which country it will be located.
Tesla has already been producing some Model 3s specifically for European and Chinese markets. It hopes to be selling Model 3s in Europe and China by late February or early March. However, it is still seeking full approval of the vehicle from European regulators.
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