FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo is seen at a groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in Shanghai, China January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said on Friday it has started China sales of two lower-priced Model 3 variants built at its Shanghai plant, meaning all Model 3 sedans sold in the country are now locally made and not subject to import tax.

The development comes at the tail end of a Sino-U.S. trade war characterised by tit-for-tat tariffs on goods and services as varied as metals and cars, bumping up prices of U.S. made goods in China.

Tesla said it aims to start delivering Shanghai-made Long Range Model 3 cars from June this year, priced 339,050 yuan after subsidies.

The rear-wheel drive variant, with a driving range of over 600 kilometres before need to be recharged, differs from the imported version which was all-wheel drive and priced at 439,900 yuan.

The locally made Performance Model 3 will be priced at 419,800 yuan, the California-based company said without specifying the price after subsidies. Imported Performance Model 3 vehicles were priced 509,900 yuan.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Se Young Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing

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