Electric car-maker Tesla's boss Elon Musk his company would break ground on a Shanghai factory Monday that will allow it to sell to Chinese consumers and avoid tariffs from the China-United States trade war. "Looking forward to breaking ground on the @Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory today!" he tweeted. He added: "Aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year & reach high-volume production next year." The company in July 2018 unveiled plans for what is Musk's biggest overseas move yet, saying the factory's eventual annual production of 500,000 vehicles would dramatically increase its output and allow more direct access to the world's biggest electric-vehicle (EV) market.
According to Chinese media reports, Musk would be in Shanghai to break ground on the plant. Bloomberg News has reported that the plant could cost $5 billion. A Tesla spokeswoman was quoted as saying by AFP that she was not authorised to confirm Musk's attendance or provide other details until later Monday, after the ceremony. It is to be noted that US companies face pressure from Donald Trump to keep manufacturing jobs at home. China and US persist with a trade spat that has seen both sides levy tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of products. According to analysts, production in China would allow Tesla to avoid such tariffs, which already have caused a spike in the price of the cars that Tesla now imports to the Chinese market.