Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Tesla will begin delivering the first of its Model 3 sedans made in China beginning on Monday amid a decline in interest for electronic vehicles in the country since it first began production there.
Tesla said the line of second-generation Model 3 vehicles sold in China will be at least 50 percent cheaper per unit than those manufactured in the company's plants in the United States.
Deliveries will take place at the company's Shanghai factory, which opened in 2019.
"We believe China could become the biggest market for Model 3," Tesla said in its third-quarter earnings report.
Tesla delivered its first electric vehicles in China last week, providing 15 Model 3 sedans to employees.
Officials said the Shanghai plant is now making more than 1,000 cars per week with plans of doubling that over 2020, eventually reaching a production rate of 3,000 per week.
The planned delivery of Model 3s to the larger market comes as sales of electric vehicles in China fell 42 percent in China after the government reduced subsidies that lowered the price of such vehicles.
Analysts predict Tesla could sell as few as 20,000 Model 3s or as many as 100,000 in 2020.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the construction of the Shanghai factory in July 2018, with the aspiration of producing 500,000 vehicles a year -- equal to its Fremont, Calif., factory -- within the next decade.