Tesla has launched the made-in-China Model Y online configurator in China and started taking orders for the electric SUV — a surprising move more than six months before deliveries.

As we previously reported, Tesla has taken a new vehicle introduction strategy for Model Y. Unlike previous vehicle programs, which were launched in different markets with vehicles imported from Tesla’s Fremont factory in California, Tesla is only introducing Model Y in new markets once the vehicle is being produced there.

Tesla is currently building giant new buildings next to its existing Gigafactory Shanghai in order to make room for the Model Y production lines.

The new buildings are likely going to double the current size of the factory.

Like in other markets, Tesla expects Model Y to be extremely popular in China, and it is planning for a lot of production capacity to support that demand.

Last month, Tao Lin, vice president of Tesla China, said that Model Y electric SUVs will roll off the line at Gigafactory Shanghai in Q1 2021.

Now Tesla is launching its official Model Y online configurator in China and already starting to take orders:

In the previous version of the configurator, only reservations were available, but now buyers can place orders whether or not they have a reservation, and they are told that “production is expected to start as soon as 2021.”

The Model Y is offered with the Dual Motor Long Range or Performance options, like in the US.

It starts at CN¥488,000 or the equivalent of more than $68,000, which is a lot more expensive than the US version starting at just $53,000.

In China, with the incentives, the made-in-China Model 3 costs about the same that the US-made Model 3 costs for US buyers.

Tesla is also listing a WLTP range of 505 km (313 miles), but those might be old figures. It’s less than the EPA range of the vehicle in the US.

Electrek’s Take

While the configurator has definitely been updated for pricing and options for the made-in-China Model Y coming next year, it seems to feature some older range numbers.

Tesla extended the range of the Model Y in the US earlier this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same better efficiency is featured in the made-in-China Model Y.

The prices are high, but they have been updated compared to the reservation configurator.

It’s still early, with at least six months before deliveries. I feel like those numbers will change by then.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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