US auto manufacturer Tesla delivered its first batch of vehicles made in China on Monday, less than one year after the inauguration of its factory in Shanghai, its first outside the United States.
The first vehicles out of the assembly line – 15 Model 3s, the group’s low-end vehicle – were handed over to employees who had placed orders.
Tesla plans to roll out the cars in greater numbers in China from next month, the firm’s General Director for China, Wang Hao, disclosed. It currently produces over 1,000 cars per week but wishes to double production next year.
Eventually, 3,000 cars could leave the assembly lines each week, according to Tesla boss Elon Musk.
The huge Shanghai factory, created in January 2019, was meant to enable the U.S. company to avoid the effects of the fierce trade war between Washington and Beijing, and to enhance its growth prospects in the world’s largest market for electric vehicles.
While China traditionally obliges foreign companies to form alliances with local businesses, Tesla fully owns the Shanghai factory and even receives favoured treatment from the authorities.
Just last week, Beijing announced an exemption from a 10%-tax for purchasers of a Model 3 vehicle manufactured locally, priced at 355,800 yuan, or US$50,900.
And, earlier in December, the authorities granted a subsidy of up to 25,000 yuan for the purchase of any locally produced Tesla vehicle.