Tesla CEO Elon Musk is pushing ahead with global expansion plans after beating his deadline to start making cars in China, CNN reported.
The company told investors Wednesday that Tesla’s (TSLA) new Gigafactory in Shanghai started trial production “ahead of schedule” this month and is building “full vehicles, from body to paint to general assembly.” And the company plans to announce the location of its next Gigafactory in Europe by the end of the year, Musk added.
The international production plants will likely be critical to Tesla’s future. Easier access to major global car markets could give the company tens of millions of potential new customers. And success for Tesla in China and elsewhere could boost confidence that the company has the ability to hit delivery targets as it grows, CNN adds.
The Shanghai factory is also notable for how quickly it came together. It was only 10 months ago that Tesla broke ground on the plant. And in a letter to shareholders, the company said the facility was about 65% cheaper to build than its Model 3 production plant in the United States.
“We have also dramatically improved the pace of execution and capital efficiency of new production lines,” the company said in its letter. Musk also implied that the Shanghai factory could become the new normal for Tesla, calling it the “template for future growth.”