Tesla launches vehicle reservations in China

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A Tesla Model 3 to be seen during the auto show in Beijing in 2018. Photo credit: REUTERS

Tesla Inc. has begun accepting orders for its Model 3 sedan in China for a down payment of 8,000 yuan ($ 1,153), according to the Chinese car manufacturer's website.

CEO Elon Musk said: "Probably some deliveries in March, but April is more certain", after a Twitter user asked when the deliveries in China would start.

Tesla declined to comment.

The company has counted on its Model 3 sedan, whose performance is crucial for the future of the car manufacturer.

China is the largest market for electric vehicles and most predictors predict that sales in the country will accelerate rapidly, since by 2030 the government is aiming for a target of 100 percent electric vehicles.

Tesla had signed a deal with the Shanghai authorities in July to build its first factory outside the United States, which would cost about $ 2 billion to build and double the size of its global production.

The Shanghai Gigafactory, based in East China, wants to produce cars of model 3 and model Y, with an annual capacity of 250,000 vehicles, according to a submission.

Tesla is also developing plans to produce approximately 3,000 Model 3 units a week in Shanghai in the initial stages of its Gigafactory 3 in order to reduce the impact of the tariffs.