Tesla began offering Chinese consumers a discount on insurance purchases last month, but didn't market it publicly. This is the first time it has publicly marketed for it.
Tesla offered Chinese consumers a subsidy to buy insurance last month as a discount offered through an alternative approach, though the company didn't publicly market it.
Now, with the Chinese National Day holiday coming, the electric vehicle (EV) maker is extending that offer through the end of the year, albeit with a slightly lower discount.
Tesla China today announced on Weibo three purchase benefits it is offering as the holiday falls, including an insurance subsidy, a 0-down payment financing lease, and discounted loan rates from partner banks. October 1-7 is the National Day holiday in China.
Consumers who purchase Model 3 and Model Y between October 1 and December 31 and get delivery will receive an RMB 7,000 ($980) subsidy if they choose to purchase vehicle insurance from Tesla's partner insurers, according to a Tesla poster.
This is the first time Tesla has publicly marketed its vehicle insurance offer for Chinese consumers, after offering such deals in stores last month.
On September 16, local media outlet The Paper reported that for Tesla owners who get deliveries from September 16 to September 30, they can get an RMB 8,000 subsidy if they choose to buy insurance in a Tesla store.
Tesla did not publicly market the subsidy at the time, possibly because it was concerned that it might spark discontent among owners who had recently purchased a car but did not receive the subsidy.
In multiple other subsequent media reports, Tesla has confirmed the subsidy. In a September 21 report, Beijing Daily quoted a Tesla salesperson as saying that many consumers who were previously wait-and-see placed orders quickly after the offer was introduced.
In addition to the insurance subsidy, consumers who purchase and take delivery of the Model 3 and Model Y between October 1-7 can also opt for Tesla's financing lease program, which offers down payments as low as 0.
Consumers who opt for this program will need to pass Tesla's qualification process. The EV maker has a factory in Shanghai that produces only the Model 3 and Model Y.
Consumers can also use financial institution loans, albeit with a minimum down payment of 15 percent. Before the end of this year, they have the opportunity to receive discounts on loan rates offered by Tesla's partner financial institutions, with annualized interest rates as low as 6.6 percent for a three-year loan and 6 percent for a five-year term.
Tesla's announced partner financial institutions for this service include China Merchants Bank, Ping An Bank and Bank of China. Consumers will also need to qualify in advance.
What do these offers mean for consumers? Tesla provided an example:
Suppose a consumer purchases a rear-wheel drive version of the Model Y priced at RMB 316,900 and plans to finish paying it off in five years.
If they are approved for Tesla's 0 percent down financing lease program, their monthly payment would be RMB 6,338.
If they purchase the car with a loan option from a financial institution, they will need to make a 15 percent down payment of RMB 47,535 and a monthly payment of RMB 5,208.
The final payment can be reduced by RMB 7,000 if the consumer purchases the vehicle's insurance from Tesla's partner insurance agency.
Tesla's offer for Chinese consumers announced today comes a day after local media reported that the EV maker would be significantly reducing prices in China.
On September 30, Huxiu cited unnamed multiple sources as saying that the price cut for Tesla's main selling model in China, the Model Y, was expected to be as much as RMB 40,000, bringing the model's rear-wheel-drive version to a possible starting price of RMB 270,000 to RMB 290,000.
However, The Paper later cited a response from a Tesla China source as saying the rumor was false, but provided no further details.
Two versions of the Model 3 are currently offered in China, as well as three versions of the Model Y.
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 417,900.