Tesla Model 3 floodgates open in China next week

Mass deliveries of the electric car will start on Jan. 7.

Prepare to see a lot of these shipping out in China.

Hey China, the Tesla Model 3 is coming. After the electric carmaker delivered the first handful of Chinese-built cars earlier this week, Tesla told Reuters on Thursday that mass deliveries of the popular electric sedan will start next week.

The publication cites a Tesla representative who said Jan. 7 will be the day Model 3 vehicles begin shipping out en masse to delivery centers across the country. The company did not immediately respond to Roadshow's request for confirmation.

With the start of deliveries, Tesla turns a page in its global sales model. Until now, the company solely built cars in the US at its factory in Fremont, California. Now, with local production in Shanghai, Tesla can skirt the ongoing US-China trade war. The occasion is also monumental for a different reason -- Tesla's Chinese factory is one of the first solely owned by a foreign automaker.

The electric carmaker hopes to build 250,000 cars per year at the Chinese facility once the Model Y crossover enters production. It could be a crucial part of Tesla's manufacturing footprint as well, with many more vehicles in the pipeline. Tesla still plans to build a next-generation Roadster sports car, the electric Semi truck and the Cybertruck in the next couple of years. There's no word that Tesla would ship cars from China to the US, but it certainly doesn't seem out of the question, depending on future developments in the two countries' trade relations.

Next up is a third manufacturing facility. Tesla plans to break ground on another Gigafactory in Germany to further bolster its global production presence, with the new factory set to open in 2021.

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