Tesla is setting up shop in Shanghai, opening a facility that will focus on technology development in China. This will be the first overseas car plant of the electric car maker. China is an important market, as the country plans to write off ownership limits for foreign automakers.
According to the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, Tesla’s Hong Kong subsidiary set up Tesla Shanghai limited on May 10, with a registration capital of 100 million Yuan ($15.8 million USD). In a filing revealed by China’s official business database, the Hong Kong division is listed as the sole owner of the new company, suggesting that Tesla plans to function independently in the Pudong New District of Shanghai.
They described the scope of the business in the filing:
“Technical development, technical services, technical consultation, technology transfer in the field of electric vehicles and spare parts, batteries, energy storage equipment, photovoltaic products, wholesale and commission agency (excluding auctions) and import and export business of the above-mentioned similar products, And provide related supporting services, electric car display and product promotion.”
Earlier this month during the Q1 report, CEO Elon Musk said he expects to announce the location of the Tesla Gigafactory in China soon. Robin Ren, Tesla’s Head of Sales who is born and raised in Shanghai has taken the lead in conducting negotiations with the local government.
Tesla has been trying to set up a factory in China for quite some time, but they were unsuccessful due to China’s protectionist rules that compel foreign carmakers to partner with local companies to set up manufacturing. China recently announced an amendment in that rule that allows Tesla to establish a manufacturing plant there, while retaining 100% ownership of the company.
Tesla had over $2 billion in turnover in China last year, which also makes them the leading foreign electric car maker in the country. Tesla will be required to pay a 25% import fee for the vehicles. The new plant in China should up the ante for the electric car maker, as China has the biggest auto market in the world, but the company will need to find its way around the import fees, especially for their economic model, the Model 3.