Tesla Inc. has completed its new factory near Shanghai and is working with local authorities to obtain a manufacturing license, which it hopes to receive by the end of the year, Chairman Robyn Denholm said.
The company is already building electric Model 3 sedans at the facility as part of a trial phase, Denholm said in a panel discussion at a Shanghai event Tuesday.
The first Tesla vehicles to be produced outside the U.S. are part of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s efforts to expand in Asia and take on local electric-vehicle upstarts. Denholm stressed the importance of companies and governments working together to solve technology problems.
“We’re working with the local government to get our manufacturing certification, which we hope we will be able to get by the end of the year,” Denholm said.
Tesla is nearing the launch of China-made models just 10 months after breaking ground on its facility near Shanghai. This is also the first time a wholly foreign-controlled automaker has made a car in China.
Denholm declined to comment on who will supply batteries for China-built Teslas.