China US ambassador Qin Gang has shared some praise for Tesla China and its recent milestone. As noted by Elon Musk in a recent post on Twitter, Tesla China had managed to produce its one-millionth car less than three years since the electric vehicle production facility started its operations.
The China US ambassador noted that the achievement of Tesla’s domestic team is a model for US-China cooperation. The ambassador has a point, considering that China did loosen some of its long-standing rules to pave the way for Gigafactory Shanghai’s construction.
“In less than 3 years, from 0 to 1,000,000. This is a marvelous achievement. Together, China & the US can make things happen. Congratulations to Elon Musk and all the Tesla China Giga Shanghai contributors,” Qin wrote on Twitter.
It should be noted that Tesla pushed for the construction of Giga Shanghai at a time when China still required automakers to partner with a domestic carmaker if they wished to establish a production facility in the country. Tesla was ultimately able to secure an approval from the Chinese government to construct the first wholly foreign-owned auto manufacturing plant in China.
The construction of Gigafactory Shanghai was incredibly rapid, formally starting on January 2019 and delivering the first domestically-produced Model 3 by December 2019. The facility’s production ramp was impressive as well, with Giga Shanghai’s annual capacity reaching 250,000 units by the end of 2020 and over 450,000 by 2021.
Gigafactory Shanghai ultimately delivered 484,130 in 2021, up 235% year-over-year and accounting for more than half of Tesla’s global vehicle deliveries. The facility has not let up since, with Giga Shanghai now having an annual capacity of over 750,000 units today. This effectively makes the facility Tesla’s largest factory today by output. Reports from China have also pointed to Giga Shanghai expanding its annual capacity further to around 1.1-1.2 million vehicles per year.
What is perhaps most interesting about Giga Shanghai, however, was just how far it exceeded analysts’ expectations. During the facility’s buildout, for example, Morgan Stanley’s China team visited the site and concluded that Tesla could indeed be the country’s “leading EV player.” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas then estimated that Giga Shanghai could ramp its production by making 35,000-40,000 vehicles in 2020 and 60,000 vehicles in 2021.
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