Charm offensive nets Tesla a tax break in China

Marco Green
September 5, 2019

There are plenty of things to love about Tesla's Model 3 and people who want to avoid animal products can enjoy it now, too.

The Tesla's Shanghai-based plant, integrating functions of R&D, manufacturing and sales, is likely to produce about 3,000 Model 3 vehicles a week in an initial phase, before ramping up output to around 9,600 units a week - 500,000 units per year - when it becomes fully operational. Following pressure from customers and animal rights groups such as PETA, Tesla has decided to make the Model 3 completely vegan, offering a leather-free steering wheel to match the existing "Tesla Synthetic Material" used in the seating. The company also promised that its future Model Y will also be fully vegan when it debuts in 2020. Company CEO Elon Musk attributed this to the difficulty of creating a non-leather steering wheel with a functional heating mechanism.

Heated wheels, he added, are a bigger challenge for Tesla when it comes to developing vegan cars.

During a visit last week to the country, the billionaire chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. won a tax exemption for the electric-car maker, got to promote his ground-digging Boring Co.

He also has publicly praised China in the midst of tensions with the United States, thanking the Shanghai and national governments for support, calling national leaders "very thoughtful" and describing China's "amazing" progress in sustainable energy, transport and space.

The price of a basic level imported Model 3 sedan went up more than 2% to 363,900 yuan (US$50,900), Tesla's website showed Friday.

"While we believe Tesla Insurance provides a compelling offer for new and existing owners, customers can select any third-party insurance product they prefer", stated the auto manufacturer on its website. It's the first time this particular model hit the top spot, replacing the BMW 3 Series in the process.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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