Tesla breaks ground on China factory for Model 3 and Model Y

Matthew DeBord  BIMe and a Tesla Model 3

According to state broadcaster CCTV, Tesla Gigafactory 3 is the largest foreign investment ever in Shanghai, and the expected annual output will be 500,000 electric vehicles. All Model S/X & higher cost versions of Model 3/Y will still be built in U.S. for WW market, incl China, ' Musk said in another tweet, referring to the worldwide market.

Construction has officially begun on Tesla's new massive manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Shanghai, which, in the not too distant future, hopes to turn out half a million cars a year.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has broken ground at a new factory in Shanghai, the electric carmaker's first manufacturing plant outside the US.

The carmaker, which now imports US-made vehicles to sell in China, is building the plant in an auto market that is set to contract this year for the first time in decades, though so-called new-energy vehicle (NEV) sales have been strong.

Tesla's US-made cars are now subject to a 15 per cent tariff in the mainland after Beijing rolled back an extra 25 per cent tariff it slapped on USA auto imports for three months from January 1. The lower tariff will last until the end of March pending trade talks.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said Monday on twitter that the automaker is breaking ground for a Shanghai factory and will start production of its Model 3 by the end of the year. When the site is ready, it will initially build 3,000 Model 3s per week and when it reaches full capacity, match Tesla's planned volume for its factory in Fremont, California.

Tesla said in October that it was operating at a 55 to 60 percent cost disadvantage due to tariffs and oceangoing shipping expenses to China.

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The plant, which is Tesla's first outside the U.S., is located at Lingang, a high-end manufacturing park in the southeast harbour of Shanghai.

"And the competition is getting more and more fierce".

The push into China comes amid simmering trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Alan Kang, Shanghai-based analyst for consultancy LMC Automotive: "Tesla's sales [in China] have dropped over the past few months because of high prices caused by the tariffs".

Tesla has opened a tender process to build a $2 billion plant in Shanghai - dubbed a Gigafactory - and at least one contractor has started buying materials, Reuters reported earlier last month.

Domestic and foreign automakers have been racing to grab shares of China's electric-vehicle sector - already the world's biggest and expected to continue to grow as the Chinese government pushes clean technologies.

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