Tesla Motors has reportedly signed a non-binding agreement with Chinese government-owned company Jinqiao Group to construct a Tesla production plant in the city of Shanghai.
All told, the investment could cost $9 billion, a person close to the matter told Bloomberg.
This report comes six months after company CEO Elon Musk revealed that Tesla intended to choose a production facility site in China by the middle of 2016.
Both companies would invest $4.5 billion toward the project, according to the report. Bloomberg points out, this would be substantially larger than Walt Disney Co.’s Shanghai theme park, which cost $5.5 billion.
That said, it’s unlikely the assembly plant would include a theme park attraction (Tesla Land, anyone?). Then again, it is Elon Musk we’re talking about, so I won’t mark it as out of the question.
What we know a Chinese Tesla factory will do for the company, however, is allow it to avoid the 25% import tax it currently pays for each electric vehicle it ships to the country.
Since there’s been no public announcement of the deal, there is no timeline for the rumored project. However, two other Chinese cities, Suzhou and Hefei, are currently courting the upstart electric vehicle maker to be the location of its assembly plant in Asia, according to the report.
Given those factors, the deal might not yet be set in stone, so to speak.
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