- tesla has announced that it will deliver its first shanghai-built cars in china on monday.
- the first 15 model 3 cars from the shanghai gigafactory, which is tesla's first factory outside the united states, will go to tesla employees.
- the model 3 has received an exemption from china's 10 percent purchase tax, meaning it will be more affordable for chinese buyers—although it will start at about $50,000.
tesla has announced it will deliver its first internationally built cars starting on monday, december 30, in what is looking like the official start of a major global expansion for the ev maker. the model 3 cars will be the first products of the shanghai gigafactory, also known as gigafactory 3, which is tesla's first production site outside the united states.
the first model 3 cars have been on display in tesla's "experience centers" around china for more than a month, allowing the public to see and test drive the cars, although actual ordering can only be done online. a china-market online configurator has been live for several months.
tesla scored a major victory in the huge china market by getting the model 3 included on a list of vehicles exempt from a 10 percent purchase tax, bloomberg reported earlier this week. tesla also announced that it has arranged for loans of some $1.3 billion for operation of the shanghai gigafactory. the ev maker has stated a target to build 250,000 vehicles in shanghai each year in a mix of the model 3 and the forthcoming model y.
the shanghai plant was in the talking stages in 2017 when the new york times quoted a tesla spokesman as saying, "while we expect most of our production to remain in the u.s., we do need to establish local factories to ensure affordability for the markets they serve." in november, tesla also announced plans to build a gigafactory in germany, near berlin, to respond to a growing appetite for teslas in europe. that factory is expected to focus on building the future model y compact crossover.
meanwhile, the chinese domestic ev maker considered the biggest threat to tesla appears to be in financial trouble. the company's image is centered on several dozen nio house showroom/public workspaces in chinese cities that are lavish and expensive to operate. the company is running what bloomberg reports is a $6 billion deficit, is cutting jobs, and has seen its stock fall by 60 percent. nio lists three electric vehicles currently for sale in china: the es6 and es8 suvs and the ep9, marketed as "one of the fastest electric cars in the world." the cheapest es6, a five-passenger crossover, costs the equivalent of about $52,000. the company reported having delivered 2528 vehicles to customers in november.