Tesla opens Chinese plant as era of real competition begins

Second and Third Delivery

Elon Musk's celebrations continued this week as he danced on to a stage in Shanghai to celebrate first Model 3 rolling off the production line at the company's new China plant, which is Tesla's first gigafactory outside the US. In October 2018, the company was granted approval to use an 864,885-square-meter tract of land in Lingang for its Shanghai plant.

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk participated in the delivery ceremony and handed over Model 3 sedan keys to 10 customers.

Musk said it was just the start of what will be a growing investment in China by the California-based electric-vehicle pioneer.

Within a year, the company achieved two of the milestones for Musk's award: it brought in more than US$20 billion in aggregate revenue over four quarters and booked more than US$1.5 billion in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation over that span.

Tesla slashed prices January 3 on China-made Model 3s to as low as 300,000 yuan ($43,035) after the company secured a 10% tax break for electric cars from Chinese regulators.

China is the biggest global market for electrics, but Tesla's manufacturing launch comes at a time when sales are sagging following the end of government subsidies in mid-2019.

Tesla executives, however, did not provide further details on the progress of the China-made Model Y project. Short sellers of Tesla stock have lost approximately $8.4 billion over the course of the last seven months as the electric auto manufacturers stock has reached record highs, beating investor expectations.

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Last year, Tesla delivered around 367,500 vehicles globally, with the Model 3 sedans accounting for 83 percent.

"Tesla has all the features of premium brands, and its products including battery performance have been proven".

US electric carmaker Tesla officially launched its China-made Model Y program in its Shanghai gigafactory Tuesday, one year after the company broke ground on its first overseas plant. Its China strategy has become its new growth driver.

Rival electric vehicle models from Audi, Jaguar and Porsche have fallen short of Tesla's driving range between charges and failed to match Tesla's brand cachet. NIO's SUVs start from 358,000 yuan, though that price doesn't take into account subsidies.

The Shanghai factory is now assembling more than 1,000 cars a week, with an aim to double that rate this year, according to Bloomberg.

Underscoring investors' confidence in Musk and his company's future growth, its market capitalization has outpaced its USA rivals, even as their businesses dwarf Tesla's. The market share of these pricier vehicles of total new-energy vehicle sales expanded from 6.2% in 2017 to 25.4% in October 2019.

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