Tesla To Expand Its Shanghai Manufacturing Plant

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is investing 1.2 billion yuan ($188 million U.S.) to expand production capacity at its Shanghai electric vehicle manufacturing plant, allowing the company to hire 4,000 more people at the site.

The expansion will bring the total number of people working at the Shanghai plant to 19,000. There will be no change to the electric vehicle models the factory currently produces, according to the company.

Tesla's Shanghai factory was designed to make up to 500,000 cars a year, and currently has the capacity to produce Model 3 and Model Y vehicles at a rate of 450,000 total units each year. It is not clear how much manufacturing capacity will be increased by the expansion.

The automaker's China sales are surging even though regulatory pressure is mounting following consumer disputes over product safety and scrutiny over how the firm handles data. Last month, Tesla said it had built a research centre and a separate data centre in Shanghai to store data locally.

Tesla currently ships China-made Model 3s to Europe, where it is building a factory in Germany. In October, it sold 54,391 China-made vehicles, including 40,666 for export, China Passenger Car Association data shows.

The Shanghai factory is wholly owned by Tesla and is the first and only foreign passenger car plant in China exempt from being operated by a joint Chinese venture.