Elon Musk takes pride in Tesla's first overseas Gigafactory in China
Updated 16:41, 09-Sep-2020
World Insight with Tian Wei

"Elon Musk will be very happy about Chinese performance," said Tesla China's Global Vice President Grace Tao.

2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) is the first major international economic and trade event held by China since the COVID-19 outbreak. CIFTIS has attracted global leaders in digital services. Innovation is in the air; both global companies and Chinese companies are showcasing their latest products and services. 

Tesla is one such company. While Tesla is best known for green energy, electric vehicles and self-driving cars, in China it established a huge Gigafactory in Shanghai over the past year. 

It was a first step in localizing production in the world's largest auto market. The so-called Gigafactory is China's first wholly foreign-owned car plant, a reflection of China's broader shift to open up its car market, even amid a trade war with the United States which has seen a rise in tariffs on cars imported from the U.S. 

Now it is braving the storm of politics and is determined to serve the Chinese market. Grace Tao told CGTN host Tian Wei that the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory is churning out Tesla Model 3 and is on course to produce 150,000 cars a year this year alone. 

Pointing to a red Tesla Model 3s car, Tao told CGTN that it came from the Shanghai Gigafacotry. In fact, people can see Tesla Model 3 cars everywhere in China right now. "We are really happy that we actually already achieved our target, and that will be quite a big proportion of Tesla's global output," said Tao, adding "Elon Musk will be very happy about Chinese performance."

According to her, Tesla has come to China for six years. There has been a big change in terms of the generations of consumers. At the very beginning, she thought young people were the major consumers, and mostly they were enjoying the technology of Tesla. But today the consumer group has become even broader because of the advanced technology, attracting people of all age groups. All of them are big fans of Tesla.


As a new global company, Tesla is trying its best to function in this complex world. Tao said Shanghai factory actually is the first overseas factory for Tesla; Tesla only has the factory in the Silicon Valley of the United States. Tesla's mission is not only to sell the cars or service to the customers, it also wants to do the whole supply chain as well as research and development especially for the local markets like China. 

So will the research and development in China be different from that taking place in Silicon Valley? Tao thinks there will be some difference, but the point is to "provide the best product to the local market."

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