BEIJING/SHANGHAI -- Tesla Inc. said it will begin delivering Model 3 vehicles built at its Shanghai factory on Monday.

Construction of its first plant outside the United States began in January and production started in October. It aims to produce 250,000 vehicles a year after production of the Model Y is added in the initial phase.

The first 15 customers to get the cars on Dec 30 are Tesla employees, the company told Reuters.

The delivery date of Dec. 30 means that the plant will start delivering cars to customers just 357 days after the factory's construction started, which will mark a new record for global automakers in China.

The China-made cars are priced at 355,800 yuan ($50,000) before subsidies and Tesla has said it wants to start deliveries before the Chinese new year beginning on Jan. 25.

The Shanghai plant is part of the Silicon Valley automaker's plans to bolster its presence in the world's biggest auto market and minimize the impact of the U.S.-China trade war.

The carmaker already treats China, the world's biggest electric vehicle market where 1.3 million new-energy vehicles were sold last year, differently than elsewhere, with offerings such as racing events and showroom parties.

It is also building service centers and charging stations across China to assure customers of standardized after-sales service, Reuters reported last month.

The Chinese government has also been supportive of the factory, which is China's first wholly foreign-owned car plant and a reflection of the government's broader shift to open up its car market.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Friday said it had added Tesla's China-made Model 3 to a list of new energy vehicles exempt from purchase tax.

The ministry had said in August it had exempted all of Tesla's models from purchase tax. 

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"Jeep ads perform well, so the Chevy overperformance is especially meaningful because it's against an otherwise pretty strong brand," said Steve Shannon, strategic adviser for EDO.

A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spokesman declined to comment.

A Chevy spokeswoman said these are among the brand's most effective ads. "They perform well on several key metrics — breakthrough, clarity of message, likability and, importantly, driving purchase intent," she said.

Chevy has run the year-end promotion since 2005, while FCA is new to the promotion as of Nov. 1, according to EDO.

"That was a game changer when Chevy launched that program," said Shannon, who was previously vice president of marketing for Hyundai Motor America and executive director of marketing for Cadillac. "I think they generated a tremendous amount of equity with it. While others have tried it, I think [Chevy] owns it."

Chevy's discounts, including an additional cash allowance, range from $12,260 on the 2019 Silverado 2500 LTZ crew cab to $3,436 on the 2020 Spark 2LT. Jeep's steepest discount is $6,185 off the 2019 Renegade Limited 4x4.

Before the campaign, Chevy was routinely fourth or fifth in EDO's rankings. A week after it started, it shot to the top.

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DETROIT -- Toyota and Lexus will remain active in auto shows around the U.S. but aim their displays and their spending more directly at consumers and less at the media, brand leaders told Automotive News on Thursday.

"We are making adjustments," said Bob Carter, head of sales for Toyota Motor North America. "Auto shows are still a critical part of the business, and they're critical from a consumer perspective. Most buyers — 35 percent of the people who are going to buy a car in the next 12 months — stop by an auto show. It's a very important place to communicate."

Carter said he was "shocked" by Mercedes-Benz's decision to skip the 2020 New York auto show, given the size of the market and its importance to the luxury segment. He said Lexus and Toyota would continue to have a presence in New York and other large and regional shows, but that the automaker may aim its marketing dollars more at experiential marketing at the shows — including ride-and-drives at auto shows — instead of press conferences.

"What you will see us do is align our investments to those shows relative to the size of the markets," Carter said. "We'll adjust the investment on media days, but to the consumer, it's still the place to be."

Carter said Toyota and Lexus planned to launch 31 new vehicles or derivatives of existing vehicles over the next three years — seven more than it had done over the previous 36-month period.

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LOS ANGELES — Nissan's hopes of shedding its bargain-brand reputation and regaining market share hinge on a raft of product reboots, Nissan executives said on the sidelines of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The product revival started with the unveiling of the redesigned 2020 Sentra, and it will encompass 10 new and freshened vehicles by the end of 2020, including an electric crossover.

"New products are going to be critical" to turn the business around, David Kershaw, Nissan division vice president of sales and regional operations, told Automotive News.

By developing more "aspirational products," Nissan hopes to attract more creditworthy customers and reduce the need for discounting, which has harmed the brand's image and wreaked havoc on dealer margins.

Nissan division's U.S. sales through October tumbled 6 percent, and the automaker's 7.5 percent share of the U.S. market through three quarters trailed rivals Toyota (12.3 percent) and Honda (8.6 percent), according to the Automotive News Data Center. Meanwhile, about 30 percent of Nissan's U.S. dealerships are losing money, with an additional 10 percent merely breaking even, a person familiar with the data said this summer.

The latest model reboot was revealed last week. The Sentra compact sedan amps up in power and design, hoping to capture more of the evaporating market for sedans. Riding on a new platform, the eighth-generation Sentra is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 149 hp, up 19 percent from the current generation's 1.8-liter engine.

The revamp across the portfolio, including redesigns of crossovers and pickups, aims to improve the brand's appeal to consumers.

"Going from somewhat of the oldest lineup in the industry, at least of the Asian brands, this will be an opportunity for us to have some fresh things that are out there," Kershaw said. "We are going to really talk about the attributes of our product and what's important to the customer — technology and safety obviously being key drivers of that."

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