Elon Musk Returns to Shanghai for Groundbreaking of China's First Tesla Factory

By Bridget O'Donnell, Chloe Dumont and Justine Lopez, January 7, 2019

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Elon Musk is back in Shanghai but this time it's not just for the jianbing. The Tesla CEO is in town for the official groundbreaking ceremony of the company's first factory in China, CNBC reports.

Image via Weibo

READ MORE: Elon Musk Spotted Grabbing a Jianbing in Shanghai

"Looking forward to breaking ground on the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory today!" Musk tweeted on Monday.

Musk later tweeted that crews are "aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year [and] reach high volume production next year."

em.jpgImage via @elonmusk/Twitter

The plant will be Tesla's first overseas Gigafactory. The company purchased the land for roughly RMB958 million (USD140 million) in October, CNBC reports. The Shanghai plant will mainly be used to produce batteries and cars and is expected to begin preliminary production later this year and full production in 2020. 

READ MORE: Elon Musk in Shanghai for Opening of China's First Tesla Factory

The company's operations are located on the outskirts of Shanghai in the Lingang area, near Dishui Lake in Pudong District. 

Tesla has been trying to build a factory in China for some time now, but local manufacturing policies initially complicated the plans. According to the policies, foreign carmakers needed to partner up with local companies to be able to manufacture. However, the government recently changed that policy, allowing Tesla to finally open a manufacturing plant in China. 

The new plant presents a huge opportunity for Tesla, since China is the largest and most rapidly growing market for electric vehicles in the world. The factory will be capable of manufacturing a whopping 500,000 vehicles a year.

Meanwhile, Musk's reported ex-girlfriend Grimes is looking for recommendations on things to do in China:

Grimes in Shanghai
Image via @grimezsz/Twitter

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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