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article imageElon Musk breaks ground on Tesla's Shanghai factory

By Karen Graham     Jan 7, 2019 in Business
Shanghai - After four years of planning, Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory is becoming a reality. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong celebrated on Monday the groundbreaking of the electric automaker's first non-U.S. factory.
"China is becoming the global leader in electric vehicle adoption, and it is a market that is critical to Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy," Musk said, according to a company statement coinciding with the ceremony for the Shanghai factory.
According to CNBC, the company says the Shanghai factory "will allow Tesla to localize production of Model 3 and future models sold in China, with plans to eventually produce approximately 3,000 Model 3 vehicles per week in the initial phase and to ramp up to 500,000 vehicles per year when fully operational (subject to local factors including regulatory approval and supply chain constraints)."
Tesla announced its plans in July 2018 to build its Gigafactory in China, the world's biggest electric vehicle market - doing so despite the trade tensions between China and the U.S. This followed Beijing's announcement it would end the restrictions in 2019 on foreign ownership of electric car manufacturers.
China's state media, CCTV - broadcast the groundbreaking, showing Musk and other officials attending the chilly ceremony in the pouring rain at the 210-acre (84-hectare) site in the Lingang district in southeastern Shanghai on Monday, reports CTV News Canada.
The Shanghai factory will produce "affordable versions of 3/Y for greater China," Musk said. The company refers to a planned crossover that has yet to receive a formal name as the Y. The higher-priced models will be built in the U.S. for export to China, said Musk.
How committed is Tesla to making its Shanghai Gigafactory work? "Over the last six years, we have opened 60 Tesla locations, nearly 1,500 Superchargers, and more than 1,850 destination chargers in the country," Musk said in the news release.
"This week, we've started taking online orders for Model 3 in China, so that customers can configure their vehicle to take delivery in the weeks ahead, and Gigafactory 3 is another example of Tesla's commitment to the China market."
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