Despite recent comments from Tesla CEO Elon Musk calling for US President Donald Trump to do something to help alleviate the burdens placed on US auto manufacturers selling their cars in China, talks are still running smoothly between between authorities in Shanghai and execs at Tesla, according to the government authorities in question.
Those talks relate to the potential development of a manufacturing plant in the region by Tesla — talks which have reportedly stalled to a degree due to the requirement that foreign auto manufacturers operating in China are required to partner with a local firm (and to possess no more than 50% ownership in such joint-ventures), or to be subject to 25% import tariffs.
The expectation on the part of Tesla execs had been, though, that the firm could possibly get around those requirements by operating out of special zone in Shanghai with its own trade rules (to oversimplify matters).
Despite comments last November by Elon Musk that the aim was for a manufacturing plant to open there within 3 years, it appears that talks have stalled somewhat (going on the recent tweets in question) — for whatever reasons.
As a result, Reuters saw fit to query the government of Shanghai on the matter (as part of a someways slated piece that characterized Musk’s tweets as an “outburst”) and got an interesting response.
Reuters provides more: “The Shanghai government, however, said communication with Tesla had always been positive and the two sides ‘had a shared goal’ to propel the development of China’s new-energy vehicle market, referring to full-electric and plug-in hybrid cars.
“‘Both sides will keep looking thoroughly at plans in China. Currently the details are still under discussion, once anything is confirmed we will announce it as quickly as possible,’ it said in an emailed statement to Reuters. ‘As Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said openly before, Tesla attaches great importance to its development and plans in China.'”
Perhaps those comments are nothing but a matter of keeping things publicly amicable, and something is escaping my notice, but those comments make it sound as though authorities in Shanghai are themselves working to resolve the issue — with the deadlock being the result of officials higher up the food-chain.