Tesla vehicles wearing a made in China sticker could be headed our way after news the US company is set to hand over $200 million to buy a plot of land for a new $5 billion factory producing half a million Teslas a year.
The land just outside Shanghai would be the base for Tesla’s first overseas operation and would see them get around 40 per cent Chinese tariffs currently placed on cars made in the US.
The new factory would also likely be the birthplace for all Australian Teslas once it is up and running with costs and delivery times slashed thanks to lower operating costs and the plant’s relative closeness to our shores.
It would also likely put the nail in the coffin of any Australian-based Tesla factory, but the move could also have a positive flow-on effect for Australian car buyers, with cheaper Teslas available and in far greater numbers than currently.
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Tony Bosworth writes for www.TheDriven.io and RenewEconomy.com.au. He has 35 years experience in journalism, and has been instrumental in launching and editing several automotive magazines including Which Car? magazine in the UK.