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Tesla could open its Chinese factory currently under construction in Shanghai sooner than forecast, Morgan Stanley said on Wednesday, adding that it expects the U.S. electric vehicle maker to become “the leading luxury EV player in China.”
Morgan Stanley analysts, fresh from a visit to some Chinese suppliers of the Shanghai Gigafactory, said in a note on Wednesday, carried by Business Insider, that if those suppliers were right on their feedback on the factory’s progress, “Tesla may be able to ramp China production faster than we have currently anticipated in our model.”
In January this year, Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk joined the mayor of Shanghai for the groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla’s first factory outside the U.S. and in the world’s largest EV market, China.
Tesla aims to finish the initial construction of the Shanghai Gigafactory this summer, begin production of Model 3 by the end of this year, and reach high volume production next year, Musk wrote on Twitter on the day of the event in January.
Tesla has started the construction of a production facility in the world’s top EV market in order to be able to compete on a level playing field with a growing number of local EV manufacturers. As a U.S.-made vehicle, Tesla’s cars in China have been subject to steep tariffs, and sales have suffered in recent months due to the U.S.-China trade war.
Currently all Tesla cars sold in China are made in the United States and then shipped to China, which adds logistics costs, import tariffs, and the risk of additional tariffs if the trade war further escalates. The imported Tesla vehicles are not eligible for subsidies either.
In early June, Tesla launched pre-orders for its China-made Model 3, pricing it well below the imported Model 3 and saying deliveries from the Shanghai factory will begin in six to ten months.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.