Just recently, reports from China suggested that several cities in the country are looking to attract Tesla. The move was reportedly an effort to encourage the EV maker to build a second Gigafactory in China. While the reports were considered rumors, several cities were suggested as potential sites for the hypothetical plant, one of which was Qingdao.
Qingdao actually made some sense as a potential second site for Tesla’s electric vehicle production operations in the country. The city stands as one of China’s major economic engines, being ranked as one of the country’s top cities for manufacturing. The city is also located on the coast of the Yellow Sea, which makes it strategic for exports. Inasmuch as Qingdao would be a compelling site for another Gigafactory, however, a VP from Tesla China has noted that the recent rumors are false.
China is starting to become a large part of Tesla’s operations, with Gigafactory Shanghai currently serving as the company’s primary vehicle export hub. During the 2021 Annual Shareholder Meeting, CEO Elon Musk even remarked that Giga Shanghai now exceeds the Fremont Factory. This is quite impressive considering that Tesla’s Shanghai plant has only been mass-producing vehicles for less than two years.
It should also be noted that Gigafactory Shanghai was launched by Tesla with far less drama and delays compared to the company’s other foreign-based facilities. Gigafactory Berlin, for example, has been mired in delays due to the facility’s final approval, as well as protests from local environmental groups. Elon Musk recently spoke about these delays on Twitter, with the CEO noting that “what they are doing is just not right.”
Tesla has a number of projects that would likely warrant another plant in China. These include the upcoming $25k Tesla, which is expected to be designed in an R&D center that was recently completed at the Gigafactory Shanghai complex. The $25k Tesla would be the company’s most ambitious car yet, as it is a vehicle that would likely be produced in volumes that far exceed the Model 3 and Model Y. With this in mind, a second dedicated production facility in China might actually be a good idea.
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