Tesla Raises Prices in China as Trade Tensions Weigh on Currency



(Bloomberg) — Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc. raised car prices in China, responding to trade tensions that weigh on the country’s currency and have led to oscillating import tariffs on vehicles.

The price of a basic level imported Model 3 sedan went to 363,900 yuan ($50,900) from 355,900 yuan, Tesla’s website showed Friday. Prices of other models also increased.

Tesla is among automakers most affected by the U.S.-China trade tensions, because it has no local production yet and therefore gets directly hit by any increases in tariffs. China threatened last week to increase duties on U.S.-made cars to as high as 50% in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s latest planned levies on Chinese goods.

Tesla is constructing a plant in China, an increasingly important market for the loss-making company as incentives for electric vehicles in the U.S. wane. Tesla plans to start producing cars at the factory near Shanghai, Tesla’s first outside of the U.S., by the end of 2019. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is currently visiting the region, making an appearance at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference on Thursday.

A decline in the yuan reduces the value of any earnings that Tesla brings back from China and converts to dollars. Earlier this week, the Chinese currency fell to an 11-year low against the dollar.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at czhang714@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Ville Heiskanen

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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