TESLA MODEL 3/BLOOMBERG
Tesla won permission to start mass production at its China factory, clearing one of the last hurdles to begin selling locally built cars in the world’s largest electric-vehicle market, reported Bloomberg.
The clearance was disclosed by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. China’s first plant wholly owned by a foreign carmaker—and Tesla’s first outside the US—is a crucial test of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s bid to prove his carmaker can sustain profitability as he bets on Chinese EV demand.
The Shanghai Gigafactory, which broke ground in January 2019, will initially build Model 3 sedans which start at about $50,000. It will compete with electric cars from local contenders such as NIO and Xpeng Motors, as well as global manufacturers including BMW and Daimler.
The Shanghai roll-out will also provide clues about Tesla’s ability to truly go global. Musk announced Tuesday that the company will round out its global manufacturing network with a factory in Berlin.
In addition to a manufacturing permit, carmakers in China need to have their products approved for sale. Authorities have yet to disclose such a clearance for Tesla’s China-built-models.