Tesla expands Gigafactory Shanghai again, looks to add design director ahead of new $25,000 electric car

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Tesla is again expanding Gigafactory Shanghai with new buildings coming up on the eastern side. The automaker is also looking to add a design director to its Chinese team ahead of the new planned $25,000 electric car.

Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai

Gigafactory Shanghai was a big success story for Tesla in 2020.

After quickly managing to build the first phase in 2019, Tesla started production at the plant in 2020, and they managed to quickly ramp up production, resulting in the factory contributing more than 140,000 cars to Tesla’s record year.

It produced only Model 3 vehicles in 2020, but the automaker has now started Model Y production in anticipation for deliveries to start this month.

The size of the factory has more than doubled in order to accommodate Model Y production.

Now Tesla is expanding it again with new buildings coming up on the current site, and Tesla also appears to be expanding on more land on the east side of the site:

Tesla China design director

Furthermore, Tesla is also reportedly looking to hire a new head of design for China.

Reuters reported:

Tesla Inc is searching for a design director in China, part of efforts to open a ‘full-function’ studio in Shanghai or Beijing and design electric cars tailored to Chinese consumer tastes, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

It wouldn’t be Tesla’s first effort to hire designers in China.

Last year, Tesla started taking design submissions for its Chinese-made small electric car and started hiring for the program shortly after.

But it sounds like Tesla is now looking for a head of the design team in China to “bridge the gap” with the US team:

They are looking for “bi-cultural” candidates with 20 or more years of experience who are familiar with Chinese tastes and can bridge the gaps between China and the United States, they added.

Tesla is also looking to deploy a full design studio in the country.

Tesla’s $25,000 electric car

The team’s first project is likely going to be Tesla’s recently announced $25,000 electric car.

When talking about what Tesla’s new battery cell and “structural battery pack” architecture could enable at Battery Day last year, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla will be making a $25,000 electric car.

The CEO commented in the announcement:

Tesla will make a compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that is also fully autonomous.

He made it clear that this new price point is achieved through Tesla’s new battery cell and battery manufacturing effort.

Last week, we reported that some documents about Gigafactory Shanghai hinted that Tesla could start producing the new vehicle at the plant as soon as next year.

The new expansion at the factory could also be to support production of the new vehicle.

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