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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Tesla Refreshes Model Y in China, Keeps Price Competitive

Tesla on Sunday released an updated version of its Model Y in China, with minor changes to the vehicle’s exterior and interior, while keeping the starting price unchanged. The update comes about a month after the company unveiled a restyled Model 3 with a more extended driving range, manufactured at its Shanghai factory and available in China and other export markets. It was priced the same as before.

In a WeChat post, Tesla said the Chinese-built Model Y has been updated to feature a new wheel design that is “more stylish” and improves aerodynamics. The company has also changed the rear taillights to make the car look like its bigger sibling, the Model X.

The Model Y also gets a spiffing up of the cabin, with woven textiles replacing the old wood trim and strips of RGB ambient lighting running across the dashboard. That’s a similar look to the facelifted Model 3, which was launched in August. The flagship Model Y Performance hasn’t received significant updates except for a one-second improvement in its 0-100km/h acceleration time.

However, the new Model Y will be one of Tesla’s first cars to offer a more affordable dual-motor AWD option. The company is preparing to start production of the more affordable variant at its new factory near Berlin later this year. The Model Y is currently the best-selling electric SUV in Australia, a country where it accounts for around four percent of sales.

Despite the popularity of the Model Y, the California-based EV maker faces increased competition from local rivals like BYD and Nio as well as upstart Chinese brands such as Xpeng and Tianjin Energi, who have been expanding their lineups to take on Tesla’s dominance in high-end and luxury vehicles. Tesla has lowered the buying prices of its premium sedans and boosted output at its factories to offset the impact of higher costs in its supply chain.

The latest update to the Model Y may help Tesla maintain its lead in the fast-growing global market for midsize SUVs. Still, it’s unlikely to have any substantial effect on the growth of the overall electric vehicle industry as a whole. Reuters has reached out to Tesla for further comment. Sign up for Well Adjusted, Fortune’s newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better.

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