Tesla’s growth in China appears certain to continue with the government giving the California-based EV maker approval to begin selling Model Y vehicle produced at its Shanghai facility in China.
The automaker, until recently, was the top selling EV maker in the country with its Model 3 sedan. With the addition of its small electric crossover the company expects to see additional sales. It has been prepping its Giga Shanghai plant to handle the additional production for a few months now.
The company’s Model 3 was the best-selling battery-electric vehicle until being displaced by the Wuling Mini and its minimum price tag that starts at about $4,200. A Tesla Model 3 starts at a price nearly 10 times that amount.
However, the additional product offering should spur some more sales. The plant, which was initially set to produce 200,000 vehicles has been tweaked to push 250,000 units annually. Tesla recent began exporting Model 3 sedans made there to countries in Europe as it races to get construction completed on Giga Berlin in Germany.
The automaker’s CEO, Elon Musk, also revealed late Friday the company is likely to roll out, or more accurately send out, an update on its new full self-driving software in the next two weeks. Last month, the company released its beta version of the software to a limited number of drivers. At the time of its release, the company declined to speculate how long it would be until it would gain a wider release.
“Probably going to a wider beta in 2 weeks,” Musk tweeted in response to a question about when the software would be in available in Minnesota, according to Reuters. The technology has been touted by Musk for several years, each time pushed back due to a variety of reasons. During that time, Tesla’s slowly raise the price on the technology, starting at $5,000, then bumping it up in increments.
Currently it costs $8,000 to add it to your new vehicle; however, Musk said during an earnings call with analysts earlier this year that the final price will settle in at $10,000. Each Tesla is produced with all of the equipment, i.e. cameras, radar, etc., to use the technology. It can be activated at the flip of a switch, or perhaps more accurately, the stroke of a personal check.
In the meantime, investors are pacing the floors as they wait to see if Tesla’s stock will be added to the S&P 500 in on big buying binge or it will be handled in tranches. The company’s stock will join the index officially Dec. 21.
Between now and then, index fund managers will need to start adding the stock to their portfolios to ensure their holdings are balanced. The early money, if you will, is that the stock will be added in tranches, making it easier – and less costly – to do so. The company is the largest one ever to be added to the index.
Being added to the S&P 500 only pushed the value of the stock higher. In January, it had a valuation of about $100 billion, that has since risen to more than $600 billion. The shares have gained 594% in 2020, compared with an 11% jump for the S&P, MarketWatch.com reported.