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Tesla starts hiring in China before breaking ground
Bloomberg | 2018/8/10

BEIJING -- Cash-strapped Tesla Inc. has yet to reveal details of the investment needed for its Shanghai plant, but the electric-vehicle maker has started hiring for the factory.

In a social media post on its WeChat account last week, Tesla sought out more than a dozen engineers and machinists for its proposed plant in the Chinese city. The factory, known as the Gigafactory 3, is expected to churn out about 250,000 vehicles and battery packs per year initially, and that capacity will double over time.

"The 'Dreadnought' is about to sail," Tesla wrote in the recruitment ad, referring to the early 20th-century British battleship that inspired a later class of vessels built for naval warfare. "We are recruiting the first batch of sailors and looking forward to having you on board soon."

Tesla's expansion in China is key to CEO Elon Musk's goal of dominating EVs for decades to come. The Asian country is the world's No. 1 EV market and the second-largest for Tesla, which expects to start producing the first vehicles in the local factory in three years. It is also entering a fierce talent war as a myriad of local startups and auto giants such as Volkswagen Group and BMW Group set up production in the mainland.

The company would look to China to at least partially fund the $5 billion (34.17 billion yuan) cost of the new plant designed for 500,000 vehicles annually at full capacity, and it expects to start making the Model 3 there by 2020, according to a person familiar with the plans. Musk said on a conference call last week it would probably cost closer to $2 billion for a 250,000-vehicle factory, while the company said it plans to use mostly local debt to fund the factory.

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