Tesla's new Model 3 headed to India

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Tesla founder Elon Musk on Thursday said in a tweet that the company has added more countries to the pre-order page for Tesla Model 3, its most affordable car, in which India appears. The list of countries includes Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Tesla Motors gave a sneak preview on Thursday of its Model 3 sedan, saying more than 130,000 people had ordered the car, even though it is more than a year away from production.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk unveiled a prototype of the Model 3 in Hawthorne, California outside Los Angeles to hundreds of Tesla owners and the media, saying the vehicle will go into production in 2017 at a starting price of $35,000.

"Do you want to see the car?" teased Mr. Musk, to screams from the audience in the hangar-sized facility inside a Tesla design centre. "We don''t have it for you tonight — just kidding!"

Three Model 3s were driven onstage. The compact sleek four-door car with no grille features a roof that is a panoramic pane of glass from front to back.

Mr. Musk said that 115,000 pre-orders had already been taken on Thursday alone for the car. Within a half hour, that number reached 137,600 in a rolling scroll projected onto a screen.

Fans had camped out overnight, queuing outside Tesla stores across California to put down deposits on the car in scenes reminiscent of the launch of Apple Inc products.

The Model 3 is crucial for Tesla to reach its goal of selling 500,000 cars per year by 2020. The success of Tesla's Gigafactory, its battery factory near completion in Nevada, is also contingent on the Model 3.

Tesla says scale from the massive facility will cut the cost of its battery pack by 30 per cent to enable the lower-priced vehicle.

High expectations ahead of the unveiling have restored Tesla's shares to around the $230-mark, recovering from a year low of $141.05 in February after analysts cut price targets and revenue expectations.

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