Tesla has been granted approval to start local production of its vehicles at Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai.
Confirmation came on Thursday, when Tesla was added to a government list of approved automotive manufacturers from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Reuters reports. With this approval, the automaker can start local production the moment it’s ready.
Earlier this month it was reported that Tesla could commence operations at its Chinese facility before the end of October, although an official start date has yet to be announced.
Tesla wants to be building at least 1,000 examples of the Model 3 each week by the end of this year in its pursuit to increase sales in China, the world’s largest car market. Building cars locally will also allow it to avoid high import tariffs that are imposed on U.S.-imported vehicles. The factory is the first in the country to be fully-owned by a foreign company and not established through a joint venture, and earlier this month, Tesla was also granted a 10 per cent tax exemption that could lower its prices by almost $14,000.
The electric car manufacturer is thought to have spent roughly $2 billion in constructing the Gigafactory 3. Alongside the Model 3, the site will also build battery packs and initially have an annual production capacity of 250,000 vehicles. A second phase of construction will increase this to 500,000 units and also accommodate local production of the Model Y compact SUV.