Tesla: China suspends customs clearance for Model 3 car

China custom officers examine Tesla Model 3 cars Image copyright Getty Images

Tesla's shipments of its Model 3 electric car to China have been stymied after custom authorities suspended clearance of the vehicle.

Clearance was held up after Chinese customs discovered misprinted labels on certain Model 3 cars.

It comes just weeks after Tesla began shipping the vehicle to China, which is the world's biggest car market and is key to the company's future.

Tesla said it had "already reached a resolution with Chinese customs".

A spokesperson said: "We are working closely with them to resume clearance procedures on these vehicles."

They said that sales of the Model 3 in China "are not impacted, and we continue to deliver Model 3 vehicles that have already been processed".

However, Daniel Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, said: "Selling into China has clear hurdles and this is a reminder of the pitfalls when betting on growth in the region."

Shares in Tesla fell 1.14% to $282.11.

Tesla is hoping to reduce the cost of producing and transporting the Model 3 by making the car at its own manufacturing site near Shanghai, where construction began in January.

The plant, Tesla's first outside the US, is scheduled to start production by the end of this year.

Last week, the company said that it had finally succeeded in reducing the price of its Model 3 in the US to $35,000, a pledge it made more than two years ago, by closing showrooms.

The lower priced car is expected to be made available to order in Europe and China in three to six months' time.

Tesla made a profit in the second half of its financial year but chief executive Elon Musk said the firm is forecast to report a loss in the first quarter of this year.

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