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BusinessTesla to set up design center in Beijing

Tesla to set up design center in Beijing

Tesla has said it will design and produce vehicles in China, but has not revealed which city the team will be set up in. Now the answer has been revealed.

A list of Beijing government priorities for 2022, posted on the city government website on January 30, shows that Beijing will push for the start of construction of the Tesla design center project.

In addition to the Tesla design center, projects including a Xiaomi factory, a Toyota fuel cell R&D center, a Li Auto factory, and a project for WeLion, NIO’s rumored solid-state battery supplier, were also included in the list.

Tesla’s revenue in China reached $13.844 billion in 2021, up 107.8 percent year-on-year, according to the company’s 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week.

China is currently the electric vehicle maker’s largest market outside the US, accounting for 25.7 percent of the company’s $53.823 billion in revenue in 2021.

The US remains Tesla’s top market, with the company’s revenue from the US market reaching $23.973 billion in 2021, accounting for 44.55 percent of total revenue.

As one of Tesla’s two most important markets at the moment, it has become a concern as to when China will see locally designed vehicles.

“Hopefully, in the near future, not only will China-made (Tesla) models allow for nearly 100 percent of parts to come from local sources, but perhaps we can also see (Tesla) models designed and manufactured entirely independently by Chinese teams driving on Chinese roads,” Grace Tao, Tesla’s global vice president, previously has said.

Tao mentioned this in an interview with local media outlet The Paper during the fourth China Import Expo in early November last year.

Tesla will continue to strengthen technical cooperation with its Chinese industry chain partners, allowing the share of components from local sources to increase while also promoting the mutual integration of Tesla and China’s local economy for mutual development, she said.

It is worth noting that during the Shanghai Auto Show at the end of April last year, Tao was quoted by 21jingji as saying that Tesla will conduct complete vehicle development from 0 in China, do some product design and functional design for Chinese consumers, and sell to the world.

In February last year, Tesla was rumored to launch the Model 2 in China with a price as low as 160,000 yuan ($25,000), but this was denied by the company.

Late last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a conference call after announcing fourth-quarter earnings that the company is not moving forward with the development of a $25,000 electric vehicle right now and that Tesla will not launch a new model in 2022.

This article was first published by Phate Zhang on CnEVPost, a website focusing on new energy vehicle news from China.

CnEVPost is a website focused on the coverage of the new energy vehicle industry in China. As with our original intent for CnTechPost, there are a lot of interesting things happening in the Chinese EV industry every day, but they are not covered by the mainstream English language media. We're here to keep track of what's happening in the Chinese EV industry and strive to be the first to publish what we see in English.