While the world prepares to ring in a new decade, Tesla had a big reason to celebrate early. On Monday, the electric carmaker delivered its first batch of vehicles to Chinese customers at its local Gigafactory.
Although only 15 cars were delivered, it's the start of what the company hopes will help propel it to success in China in the years to come. In the past, tariffs on vehicles imported to China have creamed Tesla and raised prices on its cars. Building the vehicle locally will help avoid such tariffs. It's also a wholly owned Tesla plant and does not include a joint venture to operate -- rules.
Tesla posted photos and statements on its Weibo account in China and on Twitter. The carmaker thanked those involved for their work in the past year while construction was underway on the new plant and said it's ready to move forward.
The company delivered the first Model 3 vehicles to employees, though locals have also reported the plant's holding lot is already chock-full of the electric sedans headed out to Chinese delivery centers across the country. Tesla could very well be close to starting quite soon.
On deck is a third vehicle assembly center in Europe. CEO Elon Musk said earlier this year that Germany would be to produce vehicles locally in the European Union. As the EU cracks down on emissions, local production could be yet another boon to the automaker that continues to surprise.