Tesla secures land in Shanghai for first factory outside US

Shanghai shares are now below 2015 levels

Tesla said it signed a "land transfer agreement" on a 210-acre site in the Lingang district in southeastern Shanghai.

Plans for the wholly-owned factory were first announced in July.

Those plans have gone ahead despite US-Chinese tensions over Beijing's technology policy.

US imports targeted by Beijing's penalties include electric cars.

Tesla's investment in China, the world's largest auto market, can help it effectively dodge import duties levied on foreign-made vehicles in China, which can be as high as 40 per cent.

"Securing this site in Shanghai, Tesla's first Gigafactory outside of the United States, is an important milestone for what will be our next advanced, sustainably developed manufacturing site", Robin Ren, Tesla's vice president of worldwide sales, was quoted as saying in a statement.

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"Tesla is now operating at a 55 percent to 60 percent cost disadvantage compared to the exact same vehicle locally produced in China", Tesla said in its quarterly report.

Back in July, Tesla announced it had signed a deal in China allowing it to build up to 500,000 vehicles a year there. However, Tesla has said that it will take 2-3 years to construct it, and another 2-3 years to get it running at full potential.

Tesla's $5 billion Nevada battery factory was financed with help from a $1.6 billion investment by battery maker Panasonic Corp. Funding for the factory is expected to mainly come from local debt. CEO Elon Musk said in a September 30 letter to USA securities regulators that the company is "very close to achieving profitability".

Tesla wants to expand its business operations in China, according to a Wall Street Journal report published today.

The location of the Chinese Gigafactory was set as Shanghai because it has a free-trade zone, which means there's no need to partner with a local Chinese company before manufacturing can begin.

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