Tesla Is Allegedly Considering a New Factory in Suzhou, China

Do you know what day it is today? If you answered "March 28," then I am sorry, but you are terribly wrong. It's not. It's March 31 minus three.
Suzhou map 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from Google Maps
Yes, like it or not, the world is now on stand-by waiting for the big unveil that will happen Thursday evening starting 8:30 pm Pacific time. Tesla is going to show its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3, and the world can hardly contain its excitement. You think we're exaggerating? Tell that to these guys who are planning a campout in front of the company's stores.

Unless the Model 3 is a complete cock-up - which we find very hard to believe - Tesla should have no problem selling its compact electric sedan like the proverbial hot cakes. With around 100,000 reservations expected to be placed within the first few days, Tesla will have ample time to build extensive waiting lists until next year when first deliveries are scheduled to take place.

The timing is also right. Tesla did very well not to rush this product, as the more sensible customer isn't such a happy spender as its clients so far. But now everybody seems to agree that the future is electric, so buying an EV doesn't appear like such a great risk anymore. Also, its rivals - most notably the Nissan Leaf - haven't moved lately, so the Model 3 should come as a fresh option in a pretty dusted segment.

If the first reviews turn out to be favorable, the Model 3 could have its production accounted for the first few years. If that happens, opening up more factories around the world would seem like the logical choice, and China, a country where the EVs will surely see a rapid growth over the next few years, would be the most obvious choice for the next location. Especially since building the car in China would also make it considerably less expensive, exempting it from customs duties.

Reports from Chinese Media quoted by Global Times suggest that Tesla executives visited Suzhou (just outside Shanghai) and held meetings with the local government. According to local law, Tesla will have to form a partnership with a local company before it can even begin to think about manufacturing its cars on Chinese soil. By the looks of it, these are just preliminary meetings, so any plans for a Tesla factory in China are still a few years away. We guess it will all depend on how the new Model 3 will be received. If everything goes as planned, Tesla will likely expand more than just in China.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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