Tesla will begin delivery of its first China-built Model 3 cars on Monday, according to reports citing a company representative. The development marks a major milestone for the luxury electric car maker as it seeks to expand its presence in China, the world's biggest market for electric vehicles as well as automobiles. Tesla will deliver the first fifteen units of the Model 3 sedans assembled at its Shanghai plant to Tesla's employees on December 30. Tesla has reportedly said it wants to start deliveries of the China-built cars before the Chinese new year beginning on January 25. The multi-billion dollar Gigafactory in Shanghai is Tesla's first outside the United States. Construction of the plant began in January this year and production commenced in October. In early 2019, Tesla had said it opened its online Model 3 configurator for the Chinese market, enabling potential buyers to plan specific configuration options for their vehicles. The China-built Model 3 sedans will compete with electric cars from local rivals such as Nio Inc. and Alibaba-backed Xpeng, as well as foreign competitors such as Daimler and BWM. The China-made cars are priced from 355,800 yuan, or $50,000 before subsidies, slightly cheaper than imported versions. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has added Tesla's China-made Model 3 to a list of vehicles qualifying from an exemption from a 10 percent purchase tax in the country. The move is expected to further help Tesla in boosting its sales in China. Meanwhile, Tesla disclosed in a regulatory filing that it reached agreements with lenders in China for a secured term loan facility of up to 9 billion yuan, or $1.29 billion, for its Gigafactory in the country. The company also signed agreements for an unsecured revolving loan facility of up to 2.25 billion yuan.
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