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Tesla delivers first electric cars produced on its Chinese plant

By Yana Berman

The company started constructing the Shanghai factory just a year ago

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has made the first delivery from its Shanghai-based plant, according to Reuters. The vehicle comes out of the workshop just one year after construction started.

On Monday, over 200 people including the factory’s workers and media attended the ceremony, where the cars were presented.

During the event, 15 Tesla employee’s received the cars they had purchased earlier. More workers will receive their cars in the coming days. In January, Tesla will start delivering Model 3 to external customers.

The Shanghai factory, which has been running for just 357 days, is now producing 1,000 cars per week and is aiming to double production in 2020, according to Song Gang, the factory’s manufacturing director. Elon Musk wants the factory to produce 3,000 cars monthly in the future.

The Chinese authorities have been supporting Musk’s initiative to build the company’s first car manufacturing site outside the US since the project began. The multibillion factory has received several major loans, with the last tranche of 11.25 billion yuan ($1.6bn, £1.2bn, €1.4bn) received last week.

At the same time, Tesla is building another factory in Germany, which is expected to be operational by 2021. The company says that the new facility will allow it to compete more strongly with European carmakers.

In mid-December, Tesla stock hit a record high, reaching $395.20 per share. The surge came after the news that it was considering lowering the cost of its Model 3 sedan by 20 per cent in China next year.

FURTHER READING: Tesla stocks hit record high

FURTHER READING: Tesla borrows $1.6bn to invest in Shanghai car plant

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