Tesla To Open Chinese Design And Research Centre

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Tesla's Model 3 sedan. Image credit: Tesla

New Chinese research and design centre planned for Tesla to make “Chinese-style” vehicles and follows its Chinese factory in Shanghai

Tesla is to open a design and research facility in China, in an effort to make “Chinese-style” vehicles for the local market.

Reuters reported on a recruitment notice on Tesla’s official WeChat account, and it is apparently seeking job applications from designers and other specialists by 1 February.

Tesla has delivered its first Chinese-made Model 3 vehicles this month, after it had built its first factory outside of the United States in Shanghai. That factory is expected to build 500,000 cars per year by 2020.

Tesla - Shutterstock - © Hattanas Kumchai

Chinese research

Tesla had “accelerated” the construction of the Shanghai factory in response to the trade dispute between the US and China, which has raised prices in China for vehicles imported from the US.

The recruitment notice for the new research and design centre meanwhile did not identify where in China Tesla it expected to locate the facility, but for practical purposes it makes sense for it to be located near to its Shanghai factory.

Neither did it identify how many people are expected to be hired, or when the facility is expected to open.

“In order to achieve a shift of ‘Made in China’ to ‘Designed in China’, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has proposed a very cool thing – set up a design and research center in China,” the recruitment notice reportedly reads.

Last week Tesla CEO Elon Musk launched a Model Y electric sports utility vehicle program at the
$2 billion factory, and celebrated with an on-stage striptease dance that cause much mire online.

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Good year?

Tesla is starting to fire on all cylinders after a somewhat difficult 2019, which saw Musk fend off a defamation lawsuit, coupled with multiple investigations into crashes involving the autopilot feature.

The launch of its striking Cybertruck electric vehicle also suffered from an embarrassing launch gaffe, when the vehicle’s bulletproof windows shattered during an attempt to demonstrate their durability.

But so far in 2020, things are looking brighter.

This week Telsa’s stock market value hit nearly $89bn, overtaking the market values of General Motors and Ford for the first time.

This was made possible by a surge in its share price, thanks to a surprise third-quarter profit at the firm, coupled with progress at the new China factory, as well as and better-than-expected fourth quarter deliveries, Reuters reported.

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