Elon Musk joined the mayor of Shanghai on Monday for the groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla’s first factory outside the U.S. and in the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) market, China.
Tesla aims to finish the initial construction of the Shanghai Gigafactory this summer, begin production of Model 3 by the end of this year, and reach high volume production next year, Musk wrote on Twitter on the day of the event.
The Shanghai Gigafactory production of Models 3 and Y will serve the Greater China region, Musk added, noting that “Shanghai Giga will produce affordable versions of 3/Y for greater China. All Model S/X & higher cost versions of Model 3/Y will still be built in US for WW market, incl China.”
In a sign that Tesla is preparing to start construction of its first factory in China, Musk said last week that he would be visiting China soon for the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Looking forward to visiting soon for the groundbreaking of Gigafactory Shanghai!” 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 EV maker signed the deal for the construction project with the Shanghai authorities in July. The factory is expected to double Tesla’s electric car production, beginning in two years.
The peak annual turnout of the Shanghai factory will be half a million Teslas and the same amount of battery packs, to be achieved two to three years after the launch of production, Tesla said in July after the signing of the deal with Shanghai authorities.
Tesla aims to have a production facility in the world’s top EV market China in order to be able to compete on a level playing field with a growing number of local EV manufacturers. As a U.S.-made vehicle, Tesla’s cars in China have been subject to steep tariffs, and sales have suffered from the U.S.-China trade war.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com