Tesla and a group of Chinese banks have agreed to a five-year loan worth 10 billion yuan, or around $1.4 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter. The loan will be used to assist Tesla in building the next phases of Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai and complete the payment of a 3.5 billion yuan debt that the company holds.
The China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank will be giving the electric car maker the $1.4 billion loan, Reuters reported. It is unknown how much each individual bank will be giving or if there are other institutions involved in the deal.
Earlier in 2019, Tesla received a 12-month loan of up to 3.5 billion yuan that has a repayment date of March 4, 2020 according to filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The new 10 billion yuan loan administered by Chinese banks will have the best possible rate they can offer their clients: 90% of the country’s one-year benchmark rate.
While 3.5 billion of the total loan will be used to roll over the existing debt, while the rest will be used on Gigafactory 3’s further construction. Tesla expects the Shanghai production plant to begin producing 1,000 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of 2019. The new loan will help ramp production even further as the company prepares to begin expanding Gigafactory 3 to begin production of the Model Y.
Footage of the Gigafactory 3 parking lot filled with Made-in-China Model 3 vehicles was posted online this month. This came just days before Tesla received a sales permit from the Chinese government giving it the green light to begin delivery of its electric vehicles to buyers in the country.
Gigafactory 3 is Tesla’s first production site outside of the United States and was built on the foundation of supplying the world’s leading vehicle market with sustainable and high-performance electric vehicles. Tesla has received support from the government in China as it will be the country’s first wholly-foreign owned car manufacturing plant. “We’re very appreciative of the Chinese government allowing us to do this. I think it is symbolic of them wanting to open the market and apply and it farewells to everyone. I’d just say like an order of appreciation for the Chinese government in allowing us to do that. It’s a very significant thing,” Elon Musk said.