Tesla Inc. plans to expand its lineup in China by offering a locally built Model 3 sedan with a longer driving range, starting as early as this week, according to people familiar with the matter.
The vehicle would have a range of more than 650 kilometers (404 miles) on one charge, compared with about 450 kilometers for the current most basic version that starts at 323,800 yuan ($45,800), the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The variant would start at about 350,000 yuan before rebates, though exact pricing has yet to be decided, they said.
A longer range could help Tesla fend off competition from Volkswagen Group and BMW Group, who are also bringing out new electrified models in China. Automakers are betting on new vehicles to spur demand in a market hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The longer-range Model 3, like the existing less expensive version, would qualify for electric-vehicle subsidies and is exempt from China’s sales tax on…