Tesla heads to China to build 500000-capacity carmaking plant
11 July, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Sheri Evans
Tesla began selling cars in China in 2014, shipping them from its California factory, which added a 15 percent import duty to the price.
Still, the deal is a milestone for Tesla and Musk, who has long viewed China as a crucial market.
Tesla has reached a preliminary agreement with the Shanghai government to build a factory that'll rival production from its lone US assembly plant, as Elon Musk takes his biggest step yet to expand overseas.
Tesla and the Shanghai government have reached a preliminary agreement to establish a Tesla factory over there. Local production would also allow Tesla to reach a wider audience of buyers in China and in the Asia-Pacific region, offering lower prices and tailoring the vehicles' offerings to the tastes of the local market.
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The signing ceremony was attended by Tesla chairman Elon Musk, Mayor Ying Yong and other Chinese officials, according to the city government. The facility is slated to be Tesla's biggest outside of its factory in Fremont.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The automaker hopes to eventually build some 500,000 vehicles per year at its Shanghai plant.
Tesla shares rose 1.5 percent in early US trading, even as some analysts questioned where the money-losing company will get the capital required to build and staff such a large plant. Tesla has been burning through billions of dollars as it's struggled to ramp up manufacturing of the Model 3 sedan. A Tesla spokesperson said in a prepared statement that after the plant opens, it would take an additional two to three years to sniff that mark of 500,000 vehicles manufactured annually.
It registered a new electric auto firm in Shanghai in May after China announced that it planned to scrap rules on capping foreign ownership of new-energy vehicle (NEV) ventures by 2022.
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Other automakers long ago capitulated to China's strict foreign ownership requirements for auto factories, requiring USA companies to establish 50:50 joint ventures with local firms to build cars in the world's largest auto market.
"The Shanghai Municipal Government will give full support to the construction of Tesla's factory and strive to create a better environment and provide better services for the development of various enterprises in Shanghai, including Tesla". That was more than double the USA level of just under 200,000.
A factory in China would also allow Tesla to operate free of various tariffs and other current and future trade measures between China and the US, which are now moving in the direction of a trade skirmish if not an outright trade war.
Automakers are pouring billions of dollars into developing electric vehicle models for China.
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China has emerged in recent years as the world's largest market for electric vehicles. Work toward getting the factory built has gained urgency as Donald Trump engages in a trade war that's ensnared imports of the company's vehicles into China.
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