US electric carmaker Tesla announced on Monday that it has started construction of its plant in Shanghai’s Lingang area, marking an important step to further accelerate its development in China.
During a groundbreaking ceremony held in Shanghai today, Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Inc, said they will produce cars including Model 3 in the Shanghai plant — its first factory outside the United States — to better serve Chinese buyers.
Elon Musk said on Twitter hours before the ceremony that Tesla aims to finish initial construction of the Shanghai Gigafactory this summer and begin Model 3 production at the end of the year, reaching “high volume production” next year.
In July 2018, the electric carmaker signed an agreement with the Shanghai government to build a wholly owned factory, which will be the city’s largest foreign-invested manufacturing project.
The factory will initially have an annual capacity of around 250,000 vehicles and battery packs, eventually rising to 500,000 cars, the company said.
In October, Tesla secured land in Shanghai’s Lingang area. It bid 973 million yuan (US$142.1 million) to use the land for 50 years.