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Tesla to break ground on Shanghai 'Gigafactory'
07 January 2019, 07:58 | Hattie Nash
Elon Musk isn’t keen on investors dragging girlfriend into tweet lawsuit
Tesla boss Elon Musk said the electric car-maker would break ground Monday on a Shanghai factory that will allow it to sell to Chinese consumers and avoid tariffs from the China-US trade war.
In China, the billionaire-entrepreneur faces a vehicle market that probably shrank previous year for the first time in at least two decades as uncertainties surrounding the trade fight between the world's two biggest economies, signs of weakening domestic demand and a stock-market slump take their toll on consumers.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, which ended up fining Musk and Tesla $20 million each over the August 7 tweet, as well as removing Musk as chairman and forcing the addition of two independent directors to the board, found in a probe that Musk's relationship with Grimes played a role in setting the price he said he would ask for Tesla.
Concerns about the shrinking USA tax credit and Tesla's decision to cut prices by United States dollars 2,000 to partially offset the lower incentive sent the automaker's shares plunging 9.7 percent during the first two trading days of the year.
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China typically requires foreign automakers to set up joint ventures with domestic firms when establishing manufacturing plants, which entails the sharing of profits and technology with local partners.
Elon Musk's lawyers are fighting efforts by lawyers for investors suing Tesla to bring his girlfriend into the case.
Domestic production would help shield Tesla against import duties as the U.S. and China find ways to wriggle out of the tariff quandary. He's pointed to sales of the sedan in Europe and China as a main reason he isn't concerned about any potential setback caused by the USA federal tax credit toward Tesla purchases halving to $3,750 as of January 1.
The drop in the numbers isn't just a direct effect of the trade war.
Equity losses in China a year ago wiped out more than $2 trillion of wealth, denting consumer appetite for luxury goods. Passenger vehicle sales declined for six consecutive months through November, and are on course for an annual decline.
How fast can Tesla and China complete Gigafactory 3? Vehicles that would be produced in Gigafactory 3 include the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y SUV.
An invitation for Gigafactory 3. Tesla, which has said it plans to use mostly local debt to fund the factory, plans to start production this year.
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