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Tesla has started hiring personnel for its gigafactory in China, Reuters reports, citing job postings on the company’s website. For now, the company is looking to hire 14 people, all in senior managerial and operating positions.
The China factory, to be built in Shanghai, is Tesla’s first production facility outside the United States. It signed the deal for the construction project with the Shanghai authorities only last month. It will double Tesla’s electric car production, beginning in two years.
The peak annual turnout of the Shanghai factory will be half a million Teslas and the same amount of battery packs, to be achieved two to three years after the launch of production, Tesla said last month after the signing of the deal with Shanghai authorities. This will put it basically on par with Tesla’s original factory in Fremont, California.
While initially, investments in the China factory were estimated at US$5 billion, earlier this month Tesla said the facility will actually cost much less: just US$2 billion, as CEO Elon Musk told investors during the conference call for the company’s second-quarter financial results.
Since Tesla is not exactly in the best free cash flow place for the time being, there have been questions about how it will raise the funds for the projects. Apparently, it plans to tap Chinese investors to help foot the bill for the facility.
A more solid presence in China is just as important—or not more—for Tesla as it is for all other carmakers, especially those with ambitious EV plans for the future. The country is already the biggest EV market in the world, and this state of affairs is set to continue as Beijing doubles down on its plans to reduce pollution and dependence on oil imports.
What’s more, however, is that Tesla’s sales in China have been threatened by the tariff war between Washington and Beijing, which has seen the carmaker up prices for its cars by a solid US$30,000, Bloomberg noted in a recent report. If it produces Teslas locally, prices will be affordable for a lot more Chinese buyers, securing future sales.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.