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Tesla to Export its China-built Model 3 to Countries in Europe

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【Summary】Electric automaker Tesla has confirmed that its will ship Model 3 sedans built at its new Shanghai factory to customers in Europe. The electric cars will be shipped to ten countries in Europe beginning this month, including Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, the automaker said.

Eric Walz    Oct 19, 2020 9:00 AM PT
Tesla to Export its China-built Model 3 to Countries in Europe
A Model 3 on the assembly line at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California in 2018. (Photo:Mason Trinca | The Washington Post | Getty Images)

Electric automaker Tesla has confirmed that its will ship Model 3 sedans built at its new Shanghai factory to customers in Europe. The electric cars will be shipped to 10 countries in Europe beginning this month, including Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, the company said.

Reuters reported in September that Tesla was planning to export Model 3 vehicles made in China to Asian and European markets, citing people familiar with the matter.

Tesla's Shanghai factory began building the Model 3 last year, with the first vehicles delivered to customers in China in late December 2019. The sprawling factory was built in just nine months and allows Tesla to sell its vehicles in China without steep tariffs that are levied on import autos, giving the automaker an advantage over its global rivals. The factory is wholly owned and operated by Tesla. 

The Shanghai factory is also Tesla's first overseas plant. The company is aiming to build 150,000 vehicles in China this year.

China is the world's biggest auto market and an important one for Tesla to remain profitable. Tesla has been expanding its presence in China, despite the ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and Beijing.

In March, Tesla submitted a document to the Shanghai government stating the company's intent to upscale the production of motor controllers, battery packs, electric motors, and other components. The document called for an increase in the production of cooling pipe sets, which are essential thermal management components used in Tesla's electric vehicles. 

The document stated that Tesla intends on increasing production of the cooling pipe sets to 260,000, annually from the current 150,000 unit capacity, which matches Tesla's future production goals. 

"Support from 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 will expand car production, charging infrastructure and its sales network in China.

Tesla sold more than 11,000 Model 3 sedans in China last month. 

Tesla is also preparing the Shanghai factory to produce the new Model Y crossover, which Tesla started delivering to U.S. customers in March. The Model Y is currently built in California, as is the rest of the company's lineup.

Tesla reported deliveries of 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter this year, beating its previous record of 112,000 vehicles in Q4 2019. The record number of deliveries indicate strong demand for its vehicles, despite the impact the global pandemic has on the auto industry.

The more affordable Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover comprised about 89% of Tesla's Q3 deliveries, equaling roughly 124,100 vehicles.

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