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Tesla to establish design and research center in China

The company is currently hiring designers to create “Chinese style” vehicles.

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Premium electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla will set up a design and research center in China, the company announced Wednesday on its official Weibo account.

The US-based EV maker is also recruiting Chinese designers to create new Tesla models featuring Chinese elements in its design. The “Chinese style” vehicles will be sold in the global market, Tesla announced.

However, Tesla did not specify when and where it expects to open the new center.

The idea was first disclosed by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk last week, when he attended an event in Shanghai for the first customer deliveries of the company’s Model 3 vehicles. He said that it would be “super cool” to open a design and engineering center in China.

Tesla sees China as a significant market outside the US. The company started to build its Shanghai factory in January 2019, which is Tesla’s first plant outside of the US, targeting an annual capacity of 500,000 cars. Dubbed Gigafactory 3, the new facility was built and running in a record ten months.

The first batch of Shanghai-made Model 3 was handed to Tesla’s employees in December. The EV maker said in a recent statement that the Gigafactory 3 has started producing Model 3 at a run-rate of 3,000 vehicles per week.

Tesla has received bountiful support from the Chinese government throughout its China expansion. It is the first and currently the only international car company to be allowed to establish a factory in the country without a joint-ownership deal with a local entity, as the government pledged in 2018 to reduce tariffs and ownership restrictions for foreign carmakers.