While talking with the South China Morning Post, Tesla’s Vice President of Asia-Pacific Ren Yuxiang confirmed that China was the second biggest market for Model 3 reservations since its unveiling last month. He didn’t really confirm which country is the biggest market, but it is safe to assume that it is the US.

The last update on the number of reservations for the Model 3 came from Elon Musk when he said that Tesla received “some 400,000 pre-orders” during a meeting last month. 

Without disclosing any exact figure for the Chinese pre-orders, Ren said last Thursday:

“The potential is huge, and Tesla is fully committed to developing the Chinese market,”

The Morning Post reports:

“The US carmaker launched Model 3 on April 1, with its online pre-order starting the day before. As its first model targeting the mass market, the car is priced at US$35,000. Chinese customers need to pay 8,000 yuan (HK$9,570) as deposit.

The first deliveries are expected to start by the end of 2017, mainly in the North American markets. Chinese buyers will receive the car even later.”

If Tesla handles the production ramp up and market availability of the Model 3 in a similar way as it did for the Model S and X, Chinese reservation holders shouldn’t expect the vehicle until late 2018 or early 2019.

Local production could help accelerate the timeline.

Tesla President Jon McNeill was in China last week and he said that Tesla’s next vehicle factory could “very well” end up in the country. Recent reports suggest that Tesla executives visited locations in the Suzhou region and talked to potential manufacturing partners. Earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the automaker plans on securing a location and a local partner for a manufacturing facility in China by the middle of the 2016. An announcement should be expected relatively soon.

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