Party Secretary Li visits Tesla gigafactory, meets Musk
Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang met Tesla CEO Elon Musk during an inspection tour of the gigafactory of Shanghai Tesla yesterday.
“We will give full support to the upcoming construction of Tesla projects, and we hope Tesla will expand cooperation with Chinese enterprises in clean energy and transportation,” Li said.
Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong and Musk launched the opening of the Tesla China-made Model Y program during the delivery of Model 3 cars to buyers on Tuesday.
“We will create a better business and market environment for Tesla’s development in Shanghai, respect and protect intellectual property rights, and help enterprises, including Tesla, to achieve better development,” Ying said on the occasion.
Musk expressed appreciation for the support his company has received from all levels of the Chinese government. “Without the support of the Chinese government, especially without the help of the Shanghai government at all levels, we would not be able to make this progress,” he noted.
City leaders Chen Yin, Wu Qing, and Zhuge Yujie participated in related activities.
The US$2-billion Tesla Inc factory started delivering cars in just 357 days, a record for global automakers in China.
Tesla signed an agreement with the Shanghai municipal government in July 2018 to build the factory. In October 2018, the company was granted approval to use an 864,885-square-meter tract of land in Lingang for its Shanghai plant.
As the largest foreign-invested manufacturing project in Shanghai, construction of the gigafactory began on January 7, 2019, when the area was still a wasteland. In 10 months, it had already entered trial production and on December 30, the first 15 Model 3 cars were handed over to company employees less than a year after it began operation.
The factory is the company’s first outside the United States and a key step forward in Musk’s strategy of going global.