Tesla has lined up more than $1.4 billion (10 billion yuan) in financing from local banks for its Shanghai factory as it prepares to begin deliveries of China-made Model 3 sedans in the country, people familiar with the matter said.
An announcement will probably be made as soon as this week, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is counting on the China plant to help build on recent momentum for the company in the world’s largest market both for electric vehicles and autos in general. Tesla’s new-car registrations in China climbed to a five-month high of 5,597 in November, compared with 393 a year earlier, according to state-backed China Automotive Information Net.
Tesla’s China-built Model 3s are set to start at about $50,000, slightly cheaper than imported versions. The company may lower the price of locally assembled sedans by 20% or more next year as it starts using more local components and reduces costs, people familiar with the matter have said.
Reuters earlier reported on the financing. Tesla representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.