Tesla is looking to make more of an even bigger impact in China by giving enthusiasts of the company’s electric vehicles the opportunity to design an automobile that could eventually enter production at Giga Shanghai.
The report comes from Tesla owner/enthusiasts @Ray4Tesla on Twitter, who revealed that Tesla China is openly asking for Chinese-inspired designs that would be appropriate for an electric vehicle. The invitation is open to anyone and everyone, meaning a seasoned designer or a Tesla fan can create the car. Tesla will consider submissions, and the chosen design may end up rolling off production lines at Giga Shanghai in the future.
“Even if you are not a car designer, you are welcome to submit. It’s more than just a car designed for you,” Tesla stated. “Please think of China in your Tesla design work.”
Interestingly enough, Tesla stated in January that it planned to open a design and research center in China that would make “Chinese-style” vehicles. The company announced this in a recruitment notice on WeChat, a Chinese social media site, Reuters reported.
“In order to achieve a shift of ‘Made in China’ to ‘Designed in China,’ Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has proposed a very cool thing – set up a design and research center in China,” the post said.
At the time, Tesla was seeking designers and other staff that would operate the design and research center, and applications were due by February 1. It is unknown where the eventual R&D center will be built.
Tesla has made an incredibly successful appearance in the world’s largest automotive market by producing, selling, and registering thousands of vehicles every month. In May, the company sold 11,095 units of its Model 3 sedan, making it the highest-selling electric car in the country.
The Giga Shanghai facility is producing around 4,000 Model 3 sedans a week according to the company’s Q1 2020 Earnings Update Letter. This figure is based on the company’s expected production volume of 200,000 vehicles annually at the site. Tesla plans to begin building the Model Y crossover in early 2021 after Phase 2A is completed.
Tesla has established a loyal following in China, and it seems that the company is focused on becoming more than just another carmaker. Not only is China a central focus of Tesla because of its status as the world’s largest auto market, but it is also a country with a rich history of art. Traditional Chinese art dates back to 10,000 BC and holds a design and aesthetic that is unique when compared to any other.
Building a “Chinese-style” vehicle that is designed by the citizens themselves could increase Tesla’s already impressive presence within the country. Not only can Tesla continue to ramp up its Model 3 and Model Y production in the country, but introducing a new vehicle that is exclusive to the Chinese market could bring even higher sales numbers than the company could have ever imagined.