According to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, the electric car company could start building vehicles in China by 2017 in a move that would greatly reduce the cost of a Tesla in the world’s largest car market.
Reuters that Musk has been holding negotiations with Chinese officials about locally-producing Tesla vehicles. As with all foreign automakers currently making cars in the country, the company would be required to enter a joint-venture with another Chinese manufacturer.
While nothing has been officialized, the outspoken CEO indicated that the first Chinese-made Tesla could go on sale in 2017 at the latest and estimates that local production could reduce the market cost of their vehicles by about 33 percent.
Tesla expects Chinese sales of the Model S to amount to less than 3,500 units in 2015, a low figure that reportedly forced the company to lay off about 30 percent of its 600 person workforce. It goes without saying that a significant price drop will be a boon for their China aspirations.
Finally, Musk revealed that Tesla is working with Chinese Internet company Baidu to help rollout of the company’s automated driving features.
With Tesla set to make their highly desirable cars in China, there is a chance that some of those units will be imported to the United States, Canada and Europe. Would you buy one if that happens?
New Ford Territory Is A Hybrid SUV For China
The new Ford Territory is one of 50 new or redesigned vehicles Ford has planned for China from 2018 through 2025.
Jointly developed with local partner Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), Ford’s entry level SUV is essentially a rebadge of Jiangling’s Yusheng S330 that’s been on sale since 2016, but with a different front fascia, more attractive dashboard design, and more technology. Chinese buyers have the choice of three engines — a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, a 48-volt mild hybrid system, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Inside, the Territory features a modern infotainment system with Mandarin voice controls and is available with Co-Pilot360 suite of driver assistance technologies, which includes adaptive cruise control and FordPass Connect.
Sales begin in early 2019 with a price tag that should be higher than the S330’s start MSRP of around 80,000 Yuan (~$11,700 USD).
Lincoln Will Build Five Vehicles In China By 2022
China, with a population of over 1.3 billion people, is now the most important market for the world’s automakers, including Lincoln.
The American firm, which currently makes all its vehicles in the United States, plans to build at least five new models in the country in an effort to increase sales, avoid potential import tariffs, and up its presence.
Ford Motor Co. previously confirmed that it will build a new SUV in China in 2018, and that SUV will likely be the new Lincoln Aviator. According to sources, the Aviator will arrive in late 2019 or early 2020, and it will be followed by the replacements for the MKC crossover and MKZ sedan.
The Nautilus will also be produced in China by 2021 and could be followed by a small coupe-like crossover that’s set to enter production by 2022.
Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski told :
“Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China.”
Lincoln’s increased focus on China is no reason to think it will stop making cars in North America. Like other automakers, the firm simply needs to be able to build in China, as well, in order to be competitive globally.
China’s Geely Buys 10-Percent Stake In Mercedes Parent Daimler
Chinese automaker Geely has acquired a 10 percent stake in Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, becoming it largest single shareholder.
Geely has owned Volvo Car since 2010 and has a controlling stake in Lotus; the investment of around $9 billion further expands its interest in European automakers.
Daimler expressed optimism about the acquisition in an interview with , with spokesman Joerg Howe stating:
“[Geely chairman] Li Shufu is a Chinese entrepreneur Daimler knows well and regards highly in terms of his competency and focus on future developments. Daimler already has a strong footing in China. We have a very strong partner with our existing cooperation with BAIC Motor.”
They two companies have yet to announce any collaborative projects or intellectual property sharing, but the investment could provide Geely with more opportunities to expand its global reach in an automotive industry that’s moving towards electrification and autonomous vehicles.