Tesla has started delivering Model 3 cars in China slightly ahead of schedule.
The company has already adjusted prices and added a cheaper Model 3 variant to its line-up to make its U.S.-made cars more affordable in China amid high import tariffs.
It had initially projected a March start for Model 3 deliveries in China.
The initial deliveries will go to customers who placed their orders before the end of 2018, Tesla said. Buyers that ordered this year will start receiving their cars from end-March.
Tesla’s business was hit after Beijing raised tariffs on U.S. auto imports to 40 percent in July amid the trade tensions. China has since temporarily suspended the additional 25 percent tariff, reducing it to the 15 percent level.
Tesla currently imports all the cars it sells in China, but is in the process of building a factory in Shanghai that will manufacture Model 3 cars in the initial phase and help it minimize the impact of the trade war.
On Thursday, Consumer Reports, an influential U.S. magazine, withdrew its endorsement for Model 3, citing reliability problems.
The magazine’s decision to withdraw its endorsement, less than nine months after recommending the electric sedan, raised questions about quality that Tesla has faced since the Model 3’s difficult launch.