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Tesla plans to import China-made electric cars to US, says questionable report

Tesla is reportedly planning to start importing electric cars made in China to the US, according to a somewhat-questionable report from Reuters.

Update: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has now denied the Reuters report via Twitter.

Reuters came out with a new report today that claims Tesla is currently validating a plan to import electric cars made at Gigafactory Shanghai in China to the US market.

The publication wrote:

Tesla is considering exporting made-in-China electric cars to the United States, two people with knowledge of the planning told Reuters, a reversal that would reflect the automaker’s deepening cost advantage at its Shanghai plant and slower demand from Chinese consumers.

The report states that Tesla is currently making sure that its China-made cars are compliant with US auto regulations before moving forward with the plan.

When first announcing plans to build cars in China, CEO Elon Musk clearly stated that it would only be to satisfy local demand and that Tesla wouldn’t export vehicles from China. That changed after Gigafactory Shanghai quickly surged to become Tesla’s most productive plant and the world’s largest electric vehicle factory.

It became Tesla’s main export hub – mainly exporting vehicles to Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Therefore, it would make sense for Tesla to continue expanding exports to other markets. However, we have some doubts about the credibility of the report.

Electrek’s Take

This report makes no sense in my opinion. After years of producing cars in China, why would Tesla decide to now import them in the US just when the government put in place a big incentive for buyers to get cars built in North America?

That would be the strangest strategy.

But regardless of the logic, I have been rapidly losing faith in Reuters’ Tesla reporting.

While the publication is one of the most respected media companies in the world, I’ve been disappointed with their Tesla coverage.

Just last week, we reported on their misleading report that stated Tesla was aiming for volume production of the Cybertruck in late 2023.

The same journalist is behind this new report, and they don’t have a great track record of original reporting based on unnamed sources, like this new report.

Top comment by BLH17

Liked by 6 people

Make no sense when you consider Austin is ramping up....Tesla has stated they want to produce closer to where vehicles are delivered, why would that turn around after a new functioning factory is in place in the US?

View all comments

On top of the new federal tax credit making this a questionable move, Tesla’s strategy has been to limit transit time and localize production with a new Gigafactory in Europe and one in the US.

I think Tesla will look to satisfy North American demand in the short term with ramp-ups in Gigafactory Texas and Fremont Factory. Tesla even sent engineers from Gigafactory Shanghai to help ramp up production in the US.

Considering all those points, I’d file this report in the “very unlikely albeit not impossible” category.

Update: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has now denied the Reuters report via Twitter.

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