Tesla starts new round of labor recruitment for Shanghai plant

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/21 21:33:41

A Tesla electric vehicle shows at the company's store in Shanghai in October. Photo: VCG

Tesla is moving faster in the Chinese mainland as it recently kicked off a new round of employment for its plant in Shanghai, a move that shows the US carmaker's confidence in the opportunity-rich Chinese market, an industry analyst said on Wednesday.

Efforts by the US company to realize mass production in China reflect a trend for overseas carmakers to accelerate their new-energy vehicle (NEV) business in China as the country marches toward a new era of electric cars.

Tesla will attend an autumn talent recruitment fair at the Shanghai Lingang Industrial Zone on November 29 and 30, a source at the Lingang Industrial Zone told the Global Times via telephone on Wednesday. He declined to disclose further details.

A report by ikanchai.com also noted that Tesla attended a recruitment fair, also in Lingang, on Wednesday to hire staff for positions such as manufacturing managers and production directors.

According to data posted on the WeChat account called "Tesla Hiring" on Monday, Tesla has opened a range of new positions for its Shanghai plant, ranging from electrical design engineer, global supply manager and senior recruiter to architectural designer and process design engineer.

In August, Tesla announced plans to recruit the first batch of employees for what it calls Dreadnought, a nickname for the Gigafactory it is going to set up in Shanghai.

A report from the 21st Century Business Herald in August said that Tesla had started to hire people by offering salaries that were triple the industry standards, and many technical employees from SAIC Motor had joined Tesla.

Tesla signed a land lease with a local Shanghai government department in October. According to information it has released, its Shanghai plant will have an area of more than 860,000 square meters. The new factory will merge different functions including research and development as well as manufacturing. The factory will also produce car batteries and fully assembled cars.

Tesla didn't respond to an interview request from the Global Times as of press time.

Wu Shuocheng, an independent analyst of the auto industry, said that Tesla's moves show that it attaches much importance to the Chinese market.

"For overseas carmakers like Tesla, where the market is, that's where their factories are built," he told the Global Times on Wednesday.

According to Wu, with Chinese consumers' rising spending power and the government's support, the potential of China's NEV market is sure to provide ample business opportunities for companies like Tesla.

Apart from Tesla, other overseas carmakers are also quickening steps to lay out their electric car business in China. Volkswagen, for example, recently announced that it would deliver 400,000 NEVs in China by the end of 2020, according to media reports.

In Wu's opinion, it's hard to say if Tesla would be the ultimate winner in such fierce competition. "The company's advantage is that, as a new-energy car company, it doesn't need to worry about the negative impact of the new-energy car business on its traditional car business. But I am worried about whether it's capable of mass delivery with its current manufacturing capacity," he said.

An employee from China Merchants Bank said that recently, Tesla held a test driving activity at the bank's headquarters in Shanghai, and he tested the Model X. "If Tesla starts production in China in the future, I will seriously think about buying a car," he told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Wednesday, saying that the only disadvantage of Tesla cars is that they're "too expensive."


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