Tesla (TSLA) launched its Model 3 midsize luxury sedan and the Model Y midsize electric SUV in Thailand last week. Contrary to many analysts’ expectations, Tesla received a warm welcome in the small country with people taking a keen interest in these high-tech EVs.
According to a report by the National Thailand newspaper, Tesla sold over 5,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars in just 3 days of its launch in the country. Tesla has received an overwhelming response from Thai customers.
Prior to Tesla’s entry into the Thai car market, Chinese EVs such as the BYD Atto 3 crossover were gaining popularity, in fact, Atto 3 got 10,000 orders in just one month according to CleanTechnica.
Now that Tesla has entered the market, it seems like the focus of Thai EV customers is shifting to Model 3 and Model Y EVs. YouTuber Bjorn Nyland who constantly tests and reviews electric cars on his channel both in Norway and Thailand, reports that one of the main reasons for this shift is Tesla’s price point.
The price of a Tesla Model 3 in Thailand starts at ฿1.76 million baht which is almost equal to $50,600 USD. Before the official presence of Tesla in Thailand, a Tesla Model 3 would cost around $90K USD because of getting imported from Hong Kong via gray channels.
Tesla Model Y starts at around ฿1.9 baht in Thailand which is just a little above $56K USD. So, there isn’t a very big price difference between the base variants of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y in Thailand.
Thailand is a small country with narrower roads compared to the US and China, so most of the customers might prefer a smaller more compact Tesla Model 3 over the Model Y but we don’t have specific sales data yet to support this hypothesis.
Interestingly, the range figures of Model Y/3 shown on Tesla’s Thailand car configurator are presented according to the NEDC standard. For example, Tesla Model 3 RWD base variant has a range of 559 km (337 miles) but according to the EPA standard in the US, the same car has a range of 438 km (272 miles).
Since Bjorn has already driven a Tesla Model 3 in Thailand for a while, he does not agree with the range figures shown on the Tesla website (video below). The US EPA standard is much closer to real-life range estimations for electric vehicles.
|Vehicle / Variant||Range (NEDC)||Price in Thai Baht||Est. Price in USD|
|Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive||559 km||฿1,759,000||$50,600|
|Tesla Model 3 Long-Range AWD||681 km||฿1,999,000||$57,500|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||608 km||฿2,309,000||$66,400|
|Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive||510 km||฿1,959,000||$56,300|
|Tesla Model Y Long-Range AWD||623 km||฿2,259,000||$65,000|
|Tesla Model Y Performance||582 km||฿2,509,0000||$72,100|
Even though the base Tesla Model 3 is quite expensive compared to a BYD Atto 3 ($50K vs. $31K respectively), the enthusiasm and obsession with Tesla are changing the dynamics of the local car market in Thailand. And Bjorn thinks Tesla is not just going to disrupt the EV market here but the entire automotive arena is going to be shaken by the US-based automaker’s presence in Thailand.
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