Stripping off his jacket, he began what was soon being described as a ‘dad dance’ on Twitter. Video of Elon Musk’s none-too-funky moves were soon viewed more than four million times online. But the Tesla boss had much to dance about in Shanghai, were he was joined by the local mayor in opening Tesla’s brand new factory. The $2 billion facility is delivering cars just 357 days since construction began, a record for a foreign carmaker in China, the South China Morning Post said.
To mark the moment, the first 10 customers took delivery of their China-made Model 3 sedans directly from Musk on Tuesday. The billionaire CEO also announced that Tesla’s Model Y electric SUV would be built at the new Shanghai factory as well.
The new plant can make as many as 500,000 cars a year and, in a first for a foreign auto firm, it is wholly-owned by Tesla. So what’s the main advantage? An imported Model 3 would have cost its owner in excess of Rmb439,000 ($63,272), according to China Daily. Minus the tariffs (and a 9% price discount from Tesla and a Rmb25,000 government subsidy) the Shanghai-made version will cost considerably less at Rmb299,050.
Only 30% of the sedans’s components are produced locally, but Song Gang, the plant’s manufacturing director, told China Daily that by the end of this year all of the components will be domestically made too.
The stock market is pleased. On Monday Tesla’s market value reached $81.39 billion, the highest ever for an American carmaker.