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Tesla Makes Gigafactory Breakthrough in Shanghai, Production to Start in 2019

© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanResidents walk past a Tesla store in Beijing
Residents walk past a Tesla store in Beijing - Sputnik International
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Tesla chief executive Elon Musk reached a new milestone on the automaker's latest Gigafactory in Shanghai on Monday. The new factory will help meet global targets on Tesla Model 3 production.

Tesla wants to finish building the new factory this summer, with production of Model 3s set for the end of 2019 and high-volume production to start in 2020. 

The Shanghai-based Gigafactory should produce roughly 500,000 vehicles per year, much higher than most manufacturing plants producing from 200,000 to 300,000 units per year. 

At Tesla's new Gigafactory in Lingang, Shanghai, shows no signs of ongoing construction work. The company signed a land leasing contract with local Shanghai authorities to build the factory on October 17. - Sputnik International
Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory on The Rocks, But Not on the Building Site (VIDEO)
Cheaper Model 3 versions will be produced in Shanghai for the Chinese market amid a pinched car market and Chinese automakers such as BYD and Geely building their own electric vehicles. 

"Affordable cars must be made on same continent as customers," Musk tweeted on Monday.

Tesla unveiled its first Gigafactory in 2016, which was initially a "tent" production facility in the Nevada desert. However, the company has built another in New York and plans to open another in Europe.

READ MORE: Tesla Still Has Over 3,000 Models 3s in US Inventory — Report

China-based manufacturing will help avoid sanctions from the Chinese government amid the US-China trade war, where the US imposed 25 percent import tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, and China slapped US exports with matching retaliatory sanctions. Beijing has since dropped tariffs on some US goods, allowing Tesla to slash the cost of vehicles to China.

The electric vehicle company welcomed the developments after enduring a series of gaffes and an FBI probe on allegations Mr. Musk had deceived company investors. The Trump Administration also slashed the standard $7,500 in federal tax credits to electric car buyers in order to phase out the incentive, leaving 3,000 units overstocked in the automaker's US inventory and compounding problems for the company, which had finally received its first profits since 2016.

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