Tesla's Musk says Shanghai factory breaking ground | AP business

07 January, 2019, 10:27 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Model 3					Tesla Model 3 Performance gets 19-inch “Power Sports” Aero Wheels in China

Tesla unveiled plans in July for what is Musk's biggest overseas move yet, saying the factory's eventual annual production of 500,000 vehicles would dramatically increase its output and allow more direct access to the world's biggest electric-vehicle market.

A local plant will help Tesla lower prices in the market to compete with a new generation of local rivals including Nio, Byton and XPeng Motors.

This latest round of drama started when it was reported that Banks might be called to testify in a lawsuit brought against Musk by the Securities and Exchange Commission, after his controversial remarks about taking Tesla private. The company cut the price of all its models by $2,000 to partially offset the loss of the subsidy.

How fast can Tesla and China complete Gigafactory 3?

A fully owned facility also would mean Tesla won't need to share its profits and technology with Chinese partners, unlike other foreign carmakers who are required to form a domestic joint venture.

In response to this news, Musk's lawyer Dean Kristy made some remarks discrediting Azealia Banks for her antics on social media, calling her a "veteran of long and nonsensical beefs" and a "Twitter villain" who has been banned from the platform for her inflammatory statements.

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Online ordering for Tesla cars in China has started and the configurator is quoting first deliveries in March 2019. In November, they clocked 393. Stock losses in China previous year wiped out more than US$2 trillion of wealth, denting consumer appetite for luxury goods. A key China PMI index fell below 50 in December to its lowest reading since May 2017, signaling weakening demand in the $12.2 trillion economy.

Tesla signed a preliminary agreement in July with the Shanghai government previous year to build the 500,000-unit factory in the Chinese city. In October, it said it paid about $140 million to secure more than 200 acres of land for the planned Gigafactory 3.

At the initial stage the company plans to launch in Shanghai of 250 thousand cars a year.

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 a year ago.

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

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