Tesla has delivered the first cars produced by its Shanghai Gigafactory, less than a year after the company began setting up its first factory located outside the United States. According to Reuters, Model 3 cars were delivered to 15 Tesla employees during an official event to mark the milestone.
Tesla first signed an agreement with the Shanghai Municipal Government in July 2018 to build its Gigafactory, with construction starting in January 2019, and production trials beginning in October the same year.
The Shanghai facility is the company’s third Gigafactory after those located in Buffalo, New York, and Storey County, Nevada. It is also the first wholly foreign-owned car plant in China, with no local partner attached to it.
With the rollout, Tesla has met its planned schedule of delivering its Chinese-made cars before the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities. It is also an important step for the company as the Shanghai Gigafactory gives it a more secure foothold in the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. Additionally, local production in China will also help protect the company from the ongoing trade war between the US and China.
According to the report, the plant had achieved a production target of 1,000 Model 3s a week and is aiming to increase the figure to 3,000 cars per week by early next year. Within the next two or three years, the company is looking to produce 10,000 cars a week, or as much as 500,000 vehicles a year.
With the pace at which the Shanghai Gigafactory was set up, things look promising for Tesla’s next facility (Gigafactory 4), which CEO Elon Musk revealed will be located in Berlin. The company wants its first European Gigafactory to be up and running by 2021, with Musk saying there could be as many as 10 or 12 Gigafactories around the world.