For Tesla owners who get deliveries from September 16 to September 30, they can receive a subsidy of RMB 8,000 if they choose to purchase insurance in a Tesla store.
(Image credit: CnEVPost)
After consistently shortening wait times over the past two months, Tesla has begun offering owners in China a subsidy to purchase insurance, perhaps signaling that a price cut is coming.
For Tesla owners who take delivery from September 16 to September 30, they can receive a RMB 8,000 ($1,140) subsidy if they choose to purchase insurance in a Tesla store, local media outlet The Paper reported today.
The offer is for all new China-made Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, and the subsidy is RMB 8,000 for both models, according to the report.
Tesla's Shanghai factory currently only produces the Model 3 and Model Y, with the former offered in two versions and the latter in three.
The Model 3 currently starts at RMB 279,900 in China and the Model 3 Performance at RMB 367,900. The Model Y starts at RMB 316,900, the Model Y Long Range at RMB 394,900 and the Model Y Performance at RMB 417,900.
The entry-level Model Y currently has the fastest delivery cycle of 1-4 weeks, with all other models having expected delivery dates of 6-10 weeks or longer.
However, The Paper cited several Tesla salespeople as saying that there are currently a small number of existing cars available for both the Model 3 and Model Y.
While Tesla's offer of an insurance discount does not equate to a cut in vehicle prices, the move has caused some recent buyers to be upset, similar to the price cuts it made previously.
Images circulating on social media show that some owners have formed chat groups to express their resentment over their failure to receive the offer.
The shortened wait times and the latest insurance offer may be related to the significant increase in capacity at Tesla's Shanghai plant.
According to multiple media reports in August, Tesla upgraded its Giga Shanghai production line between late July and early August, and will expand its annual capacity to about 1.1-1.2 million units when the upgrade is complete.
On July 20, Tesla's second quarter earnings report showed that Giga Shanghai now has an annual capacity of more than 750,000 units, making it Tesla's largest factory in the world.
Tesla sold 76,965 China-made vehicles in August, the second highest on record after 78,906 in June, according to data released by the China Passenger Car Association on September 8.
That's up 73.88 percent from 44,264 units a year ago and up 172.76 percent from 28,217 units in July.
In August, Tesla China exported 42,463 vehicles, the highest since production began at Tesla's Shanghai plant. This means that Tesla delivered 34,502 vehicles to Chinese consumers in August.