Tesla to launch China-built Model 3; investment is smooth

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/7 22:18:40

Visitors view a Tesla Model 3 during the 18th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai, east China, April 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory on Thursday opened to media visits for the first time, after its official Sina Weibo account announced that its China-built Model 3 is about to be revealed, with reservations open for test drives.

The factory's efficiency of the administrative examination and approval was counted in minutes, and it was almost seamlessly linked with the company's headquarters, domestic news site bjnews.com.cn reported on Thursday, citing information from Tesla.

Tesla's China head Zhu Xiaotong reports to Tesla CEO Elon Musk once a day, said the report, and the average age of engineers in the factory is about 30.

The company posted three pictures of its Model 3 with the Chinese version of its brand name on Weibo on Thursday.

According to Tesla's Weibo, the China-built Model 3 is priced at 355,800 yuan ($50,925) and is expected to be delivered starting in the first quarter of 2020.

"The price is still higher than I expected," a Beijing resident surnamed Zhong, who has been considering buying an electric vehicle, told the Global Times, noting he will postpone his purchasing plan.

Tesla's investment in the Shanghai factory has been in the spotlight amid the ongoing China-US trade war. 

US President Donald Trump in August tweeted an order to American companies to immediately look for an alternative to China, including coming back to the US to make products in the US.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has been rolling out measures to optimize the environment for foreign investment in automobiles and ensure that new-energy vehicles produced by domestic and foreign companies enjoy equal market access.

The factory is the largest foreign manufacturing investment project in Shanghai. Construction began in January and the first phase was completed within 10 months, showing the world "Chinese Speed."


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