Tesla Inc said on Monday it would begin exporting China-made Model 3 cars to over 10 European nations this month, joining an increasing number of automakers using China as an export hub for electric vehicles.
The U.S. automaker, which started providing vehicles made in its Shanghai factory in December, will export China-made cars this month to nations such as Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland, it said in a statement.
Elsewhere, German competitor BMW is planning to export its electric iX3 model, made at a joint venture plant located in Shenyang, China, to Europe, while Daimler is moving production of its Smart branded city cars to Hangzhou Bay.
Tesla has been expanding in China even though tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to escalate. The Shanghai factory, Tesla’s first car plant outside of the United States, intends to build 150,000 vehicles this year.
“Support from the Chinese government towards the industry, innovative local companies and customers embracing new technologies make China the best market for smart electric vehicles,” Tesla said, adding it would expand auto production, charging, and sales networks in China.
The electric automaker, which sold over 11,000 Model 3 cars last month in China, is also constructing new car manufacturing capacity in Shanghai for making its Model Y sport-utility vehicles.
The export of Model 3 to Europe comes as the automaker is in the process of building a gigafactory on the outskirts of Berlin and after the German government declared a subsidy of up to 9,000 euros ($10,675) for buyers of electric cars, including the Model 3.