Tesla China vice president Grace Tao has revealed in a new interview a Tesla vehicle designed and built in China could be on the roads soon.
How soon seems to depend on the translation of Tao’s comments, which were made to the Chinese publication The Paper and published on Tuesday.
According to Google Translate, Tao said she hopes the new EV will arrive “in the near future”.
“I hope that in the near future, not only can the (Tesla) models made in China reach nearly 100% localized productivity, it may also witness the (Tesla) models independently designed and manufactured by the Chinese team driving in China. On the highway.”
Native Chinese speaker Moneyball (@DKurac) translated the statement as “not so distant future.”
Tesla VP: I hope that in not so distant future, not only will Tesla #China localization rate achieve 100%, but that on Chinese roads we might see Tesla #EVs that were designed by China team.
(THE PAPER) pic.twitter.com/d2iHPS080F
— Moneyball (@DKurac) November 9, 2021
Either way, although Tao didn’t specifically mention it, she seems to be referring to highly-anticipated $25,000 Tesla. The affordable EV is expected to come out of the newly opened Tesla China Research & Design Center at Giga Shanghai.
When the company announced the opening last month, it hinted at more EV product lines coming soon.
Tao also revealed new information about Giga Shanghai’s localization rate, which is a key driver in improving Tesla’s bottom line. According to Tao, the rate will soon reach 100%.
A completely localized supply chain will allow Tesla to produce cars at a record pace, and for much lower costs meaning increased margins for the automaker.