'NSFW': Elon Musk dances awkwardly at Tesla event in China

Sunday, 12 Jan, 2020

Prices of other models available in the Chinese market have also been cut.

Various government officials including Mayor Ying Yong and Zhu Zhisong, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai municipal government, were among the dignitaries attending Tuesday's event. The billionaire shared the video on Twitter and captioned it: "At Tesla Giga Shanghai NSFW!"

This week Tesla began delivering Model 3 electric cars built at its Shanghai factory, just under a year since it began work on the $2 billion plant. "So we're going to do it ... is to try to create a China design and engineering center to actually design an original vehicle in China for worldwide consumption", Musk said, according to Reuters. He did not give a timeframe. Globally the electric SUV is expected to go into production first in Fremont, California, later this year.

The development shows how CEO Elon Musk is winning his bet on China, where the company also intends to produce the planned Model Y compact crossover. Also, the number of vehicle deliveries are tiny in comparison, as GM and Ford delivered in 2019 several million cars in the USA alone, compared to Tesla's 367,500 globally.

"We believe this new solid quarter of deliveries could further put to rest investor concerns around softening demand for Tesla's product", analyst Emmanuel Rosner of Deutsche Bank wrote in a Tuesday note.

The Chinese plant is already assembling 1,000 cars a week and plans to double that rate within the next year, Song Gang, the plant's production manager, said on December 30.

This invitation was in response to a tweet by Al Arabia where they mentioned that Tesla, the electric automaker planned on manufacturing half a million vehicles in a future factory outside Berlin. The price for a standard variant of Model 3 Tesla electric sedan has been reduced from 323,800 yuan ($46,440) to 299,050 yuan ($42,890).

Yale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based consultancy Automotive Foresight, said Chinese electric vehicle startups will be under great pressure because Tesla has a better brand reputation, more reliable products and good prices.

The Daily Mail reports that Elon Musk's electric auto manufacturer Tesla has become the most valuable carmaker in America with a market value of $81.39 billion, surpassing Ford Motor's which reached a valuation of $80.81 billion at its peak.

Tesla's market value is still lower than both Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG. The incentive is being given by the Chinese government for ditching gasoline-dependent cars and choosing electric vehicles such as Tesla Model 3.