American firm posted design sketch as it announced that it’s setting up a research and design centre in China
Tesla has shown a design sketch of a small car for China and revealed that it’s looking to set up a design and research facility in the country.
The American electric vehicle (EV) maker posted the image of a compact hatchback with Model 3-inspired styling via its official account on WeChat – China’s biggest social media network.
The announcement was primarily a call for job applicants, some of whom will have a hand in designing “Chinese-style” Tesla models.
Tesla recently set up shop in China with a gigafactory in Shanghai – its first outside the US. With an annual capacity of 500,000 units, it will initially produce the Model 3 compact saloon and its forthcoming sibling, the Model Y, a seven-seat mid-size SUV.
The first Chinese-built Tesla was delivered to a customer on 6 January, just 10 months after construction of the facility began.
The company’s boss, Elon Musk, has previously said that Tesla would “create a car for worldwide sale” in China. A strong possibility is a family hatchback to rival the new Volkswagen ID 3, given that Musk stated in 2018 that his company would produce a compact model “within the next five years”.
China is the world’s biggest market for EVs, thanks primarly to strong government support for companies and consumers.
Tesla compact hatchback to rival Volkswagen ID 3
Analysis: Tesla is making progress but still faces challenges
Tesla claims 200,000 orders for radical Cybertruck