SHANGHAI: Tesla Inc is investing 1.2 billion yuan (RM795 million) to optimize the production line at its Shanghai plant as China becomes a major global export hub for the US automaker.
The project is slated to begin in December this year and end in April 2022, according to Tesla’s filing with a Shanghai government platform for environmental information disclosure by local businesses.
Tesla did not specify changes in production capacity at the plant, which currently manufactures up to 500,000 vehicles per year, but said it would add 4,000 additional workers once the project is completed, raising the number of factory employees to 19,000.
The Shanghai plant, which began production in late 2019, is Tesla’s first car manufacturing plant outside the United States and the first and only passenger car manufacturing plant in China wholly owned by a foreign car manufacturer.
The plant produces Model 3 and Model Y vehicles and sells them in China, other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.
The facility became Tesla’s largest global exporter in July. In the third quarter, the plant produced 133,200 vehicles, of which 59,579 were exported, according to the automaker’s financial statement.
In the first 10 months of this year, vehicle exports from the Shanghai plant reached nearly 150,000 units, and sales in China amounted to around 210,000 units, according to statistics from the China Passenger Car Association. .
“The investment is not a surprise because the demand for electric cars is increasing both in China, where its cars are popular, and in overseas markets, so Tesla needs to increase its capacity quickly,” said Roy Lu, analyst. independent automobile based in Shanghai. .
China is the world’s largest market for new energy vehicles, including electric cars and plug-in hybrids. – Chinese Daily / ANN