Tesla Inc. revealed its first vehicles constructed in China, a milestone for Elon Musk’s company as it plans to start sales of regionally made electric sedans in the world’s largest auto market.
Assembled in the new Shanghai Gigafactory of Tesla, that broke ground in January, the first Model 3 sedans came in blue and were adorned with the brand name in Chinese characters. Local media were invited for taking a test drive to the vehicles, which start at around $50,000.
China’s first plant completely owned by a foreign automaker — and Tesla’s first outside the U.S. — is an important test of Musk’s bid to prove his automaker can maintain profitability as he bets on the Chinese market for electric automobiles.
The plant is currently producing cars in small amounts. Tesla is working with regional officials to get manufacturing certification and hopes to get it by year-end, Chairman Robyn Denholm stated recently in Shanghai.