Tesla’s Elon Musk rules out China exports to the US

Elon Musk has dismissed a report claiming there are plans to export Tesla cars from China to the United States – even though lower manufacturing costs would have offset high tariffs on Chinese imports into the United States.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has refuted a report claiming the company is preparing to export Chinese-built electric cars to the United States and Canada.

Press Agency Reuters Tesla reported “considered” plans to export Model 3 and Model Y electric cars from its Chinese factory to North America starting early next year, citing “people familiar with the planning.”

Tesla’s Chinese factory currently serves global markets such as China, Europe and Australia. Meanwhile, Tesla vehicles sold in North America are built in the United States.

Passenger vehicles made in China are currently subject to a 27.5% import tariff in the United States.

However, according to the report of Reutersfavorable exchange rates, falling commodity prices in China and rising new car prices in the United States could “potentially” make Chinese exports a viable option.

Shortly after the Reuters story was published, Tesla CEO Elon Musk called it “false” on Twitter. Tesla representatives contacted by Reuters wouldn’t comment further on Musk’s social media post.

Until recently, the Chinese factory Tesla “sold or shipped for export all the vehicles it could produce”. Reuters reported.

However, demand for Tesla motor vehicles began to decline in China, leading to increased inventory ready for sale and increased production capacity for other countries.

Reuters reports that Tesla’s Shanghai factory – dubbed Giga Shanghai – has the capacity to build up to 1.1 million vehicles a year – making it the electric car specialist’s largest production site – although Tesla’s latest financial report only lists a capacity of “over 750,000” cars per year.

According to the news agency, Tesla is “working on” plans to build “a series of small-batch production vehicle trials in [early] 2023 that would meet North American standards for potential export. »

Reuters says Tesla’s price gap in the US and China is “widening” – attributed to higher US prices and new discounts in China – suggesting Chinese exports to the US are now possible , despite the high price.

However, any Chinese-made Tesla sold in the United States would not be eligible for the US government’s upcoming electric car tax incentives, which require vehicles to be built in North America and require a significant portion of their battery materials. comes from the United States, or with a country with which it has concluded a free trade agreement.

Tesla Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn told investors last month that the company “believes[s]”it is” well positioned to capture a significant share of this [tax credit] for solar storage and also electric vehicles,” but added that the terms of the credit will not be finalized until the end of this year.

Alongside its factories in the United States and China, Tesla recently opened a plant in Berlin, Germany – which builds Model Y SUVs for the European market, reducing the load on the Shanghai factory – while reports suggest that Tesla is considering opening a factory in Canada.

Tesla would not be the first American automaker to import Chinese-made cars into the United States since the introduction of the new tariff, Reuters Remarks; The Buick brand, owned by General Motors, brings the large Chinese-made Envision SUV to North America.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he launched his own website, Redline. He contributed to Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist on the press team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, whether it’s about flipping through car magazines at a young age or growing up around performance. vehicles in a car-loving family.

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