Tesla is moving closer to becoming the first foreign car company to have a wholly owned manufacturing operation in China — but how much that will help the company is not yet clear.
For Tesla and other car manufacturers, many of the options in China are guided by the government. One option is to set up a joint venture and share much of its technology — and half the profits — with a Chinese partner. The other is to manufacture in a so-called foreign trade zone in China but still be subject to steep Chinese import tariffs on any cars sold in the country.
Carmakers usually end up in a joint venture and have to share their technology. Tesla, however, is taking a different path that reflects the importance the Chinese government is putting on electric cars.
China US Focus