Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Tesla to break ground on Shanghai 'Gigafactory'

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks in a Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks in a"fireside chat at the National League of Cities 2018 City Summit in Los Angeles Californi
Priscilla Morrison | 08 January, 2019, 01:39

In July, Tesla raised the prices of the Model 3 and the Model Y by about 20 per cent in the mainland after Beijing slapped an additional 25 per cent tariff on American-made vehicles, a retaliatory measure against the USA administration as trade tensions between the two countries escalated.

Musk said on Twitter on Monday that Tesla is aiming to complete construction of the factory this summer, with production of the vehicles scheduled to begin by the end of 2019.

Tesla said in October it had signed an agreement for a 210-acre (84-hectare) site in the Lingang district in southeastern Shanghai.

Electric carmaker Tesla's first plant outside the U.S., the Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, is about to begin construction.

Shares in Chinese suppliers to Tesla, including Tianjin Motor Dies Co Ltd and VT Industrial Technology Co Ltd, rallied on Monday after Musk's tweets.

The Shanghai venture comes as United States companies face pressure from President Donald Trump to keep manufacturing jobs at home, and as Beijing and Washington wage a trade spat that has seen both sides levy tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of products.

Analysts say production in China would allow Tesla to side-step such measures, which have already caused a spike in the price of the cars the company now imports to the Chinese market.

But construction of the plant - the subject of stop-start negotiations between Tesla and Shanghai for well over a year - gets under way just as the outlook for China's consumer market has turned worrisome.

More news: Samsung announce Smart TVs will soon have AirPlay 2 and iTunes support

Apple sparked global alarm over the prospects for the world's second-largest economy last week when it cut its revenue forecast, citing slowing demand in China and the trade war.

But the pace of growth is expected to slow along with China's economy.

Tesla unveiled its first Gigafactory in 2016, which was initially a "tent" production facility in the Nevada desert.

The Tesla boss said: "We think with the resources here we can build the Shanghai Gigafactory in record time and we're looking forward to hopefully having some initial production of the Model 3 towards the end of this year".

"Shanghai Giga production of Model 3/Y will serve greater China region", Musk added in another one.

Musk said the plant, known as Gigafactory 3, will produce up to 500,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles for China and other nearby markets when it is completed in 2020. Apple triggered global equity losses last week when it said slackening Chinese demand spurred it to cut its revenue outlook for the first time in nearly two decades. He provided no price figures for China-made cars.

The Tesla brand is growing in popularity in China despite a rising rivalry from Nio - a local electric auto manufacturer, CNBC reported.

Tesla's factory in China - the world's biggest vehicle market - will be its first outside the US.

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