Monday, 25 March, 2019

Tesla breaks ground to make electric cars in China

Matthew DeBord  Business Insider Matthew DeBord Business Insider
Orlando Vargas | 08 January, 2019, 20:47

Elon Musk joined the mayor of Shanghai on Monday for the groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla's first factory outside the US and in the world's largest electric vehicle (EV) market, China. He was in Shanghai for the ground-breaking ceremony.

Musk tweeted earlier Monday that Tesla was "aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year & reach high-volume production next year".

Tesla purchased the land for the Shanghai factory just outside the city for approximately $140 million in October.

Tesla has registered over 14,000 Model 3 VINs during the first eight days of January 2019.

Tesla has said it aims to produce its Model 3 mass-market auto from 2019 at the new plant.

The so-called Gigafactory would also be China's first wholly foreign-owned vehicle plant, a reflection of China's broader shift to open up its auto market even amid the whipsawing trade war.

Tesla plans to keep building the higher-end versions of the Model 3 at its plant in Fremont, California, and to make more affordable versions in China for that market and other parts of Asia.

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China is the world's largest auto and NEV market, with Beijing aspiring to become the global NEV leader with technologies that meet the highest worldwide standards by 2025.

Musk said the Shanghai factory will produce "affordable versions of 3/Y for greater China".

After four years of planning, Tesla Inc. finally broke ground on its planned $5 billion factory in the world's biggest auto market. And the competition is getting more and more fierce, ' said Alan Kang, Shanghai-based analyst for consultancy LMC Automotive.

The Shanghai factory is being billed as a Gigafactory that "will allow Tesla to localize production of Model 3 and future models sold in China, with plans to eventually produce approximately 3,000 Model 3 vehicles per week in the initial phase and to ramp up to 500,000 vehicles per year when fully operational (subject to local factors including regulatory approval and supply chain constraints)". Musk wrote on Twitter last Monday, replying to a Chinese Tesla owner who had volunteered to deliver a Tesla vehicle to a new owner.

The Shanghai government said in a statement its mayor Ying Yong urged the firm to "accelerate" work on the factory and said production would start to some degree in the second half of 2019 during a land visit in December previous year.

Domestic and foreign automakers have been racing to grab shares of China's electric-vehicle sector - already the world's biggest and expected to continue to grow as the Chinese government pushes clean technologies.

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