Tesla begins sales of cheapest yet Model 3 car variant in China

SHANGHAI, April 12 () - U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Inc on Friday said it has started taking orders in China for a lower-priced version of its Model 3 car, as it seeks to expand its lineup and boost sales in the world's biggest EV market.

The California-based firm said in a statement that Chinese customers can now order a standard range Model 3 variant whose starting price of 377,000 yuan($56,167) will make it the cheapest version of the car in China.

The model will be equipped with Tesla's Autopilot assisted driving function, the automaker said.

Previously, the starting price for a Model 3 in China was 407,000 yuan for a rear-wheel-drive long range version with no Autopilot.

Tesla currently imports all the cars it sells in China. It is building a factory in Shanghai that will initially manufacture Model 3 cars.

($1 = 6.7121 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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