As Tesla delivered the first Model 3 vehicles from the company’s Shanghai factory to the public, CEO Elon Musk said the electric automaker would design a future car in China for global consumption. He noted that the company would bring an engineering and design center to the country, which has the world’s second-biggest economy, but he did not detail timeframes, CNBC reported.
Musk said, according to the outlet, “We intend to continue making a significant investment and increasing the investment in China, making the Model 3 and the Model Y and future models also in China.” He also noted, "Something that would be super cool … so we’re going to do it … is to try to create a China design and engineering center to actually design an original car in China for worldwide consumption. I think this will be very exciting.”
The electric automaker also reported that it would begin production work on a Model Y crossover vehicle in its Shanghai Gigafactory. Model 3 production just began in October at the factory in Shanghai. According to the outlet, analysts view China as an essential market for the automaker. However, the company encounters many challenges, from growing competition to cooling electric vehicle sales.
In separate news, Tesla delivered 112,000 vehicles around the globe in a record fourth quarter. The Street forecasted that the electric automaker would deliver 106,000 vehicles in the quarter, which would have met the company’s annual 360,000-400,000 delivery goal.
Tesla said it delivered 92,550 Model 3 cars over Q4, as well as 19,450 Model S and X vehicles. The automaker was forecasted to deliver 9,300 Model X, 9,800 Model S and 87,900 Model 3 vehicles, per a FactSet analyst average.
In the third quarter of last year, Tesla delivered more vehicles than it produced: It delivered 97,000 vehicles after manufacturing 96,155 vehicles, which made two personal records. The company sold 245,240 vehicles, including 145,846 Model 3s, last year.