Tesla has been granted permission to produce its electric cars in China, it has been confirmed today.
The US firm - headed by Elon Musk - has been added to a government list of approved automotive manufacturers, China's industry ministry has revealed.
This grants the electric-vehicle maker the certificate it needs to start making its range of plug-in cars at its state-of-the-art $2billion (£1.55bn) Gigafactory 3 facility in Shanghai.
Green light: The Chinese government has today authorised Tesla to produce vehicles at the state-of-the-art Gigafactory3 facility in Shanghai
The news was confirmed by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which published the latest list of approved car manufacturers.
Yale Zhang, head of the Shanghai-based consultancy Automotive Foresight, said the move means 'the green light is fully given to Tesla for production in China'.
A deal was believed to be getting closer following reports earlier this month that Tesla had planned for assembly to begin at the Gigafactory 3 facility in the south east of Shanghai.
The plant - the first Tesla factory to produce vehicles outside of the US - will produce battery cells and vehicles: namely the latest Model 3 and the forthcoming Model Y.
An initial production rate targets an output of 250,000 electric cars per year.
The made-in-China Tesla cars are set to be a third cheaper than their imported versions
Workers are seen at the construction site of Tesla's Gigafactory 3 vehicle plant in Shanghai last month
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Chinese officials announced the beginning of construction at the factory site in Shanghai on January 7
The new factory will produce Model 3 (left) and the forthcoming Model Y (right) electric cars
However, Reuters said it is unclear when it will meet year-end production targets because of uncertainties around orders, labor and suppliers.
Tesla intends to produce at least 1,000 Model 3s a week from the Shanghai factory by the end of this year, as it tries to boost sales in the world's biggest automotive market and avoid higher import tariffs imposed on US cars.
The factory, China's first fully foreign-owned car plant, also reflects Beijing's broader shift to open up its car market.
Shanghai authorities have offered Tesla assistance to speed up construction, and China excluded Tesla models from a 10 per cent car purchase tax on 30 August.
An aerial photo taken at the beginning of the year shows the 864,885-square metre site Gigafactory3 will be built on
Sales of so-called new-energy vehicles (NEVs) - a category which includes Tesla's battery-powered cars - continue to be strong in China, where the government aims to shift away entirely from combustion engine vehicles
The first phase of the factory is now complete and the construction for a second phase is already in full swing, it is reported
Tesla rival files for bankruptcy in US
Meanwhile, earlier this week it was confirmed that the founder of Chinese electric car firm Faraday Future has filed for bankruptcy in the US in the hopes of satisfying the company's debts.
Jia Yueting, 46, said he has already repaid $3billion worth of debt with another $2billion outstanding.
A statement from his team said that he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday and will enter a debt restructuring plan.
It is reported that Yueting had a personal debt of $3.6 billion.
The restructuring plan will allow Yueting, who is a Chinese national from Shanxi province, to reduce and renegotiate the company's accounts so Faraday can continue operations.
Jia, who owned 33 per cent of Faraday, has said that he will head back to China to pursue new opportunities in the hope of continuing the electric car project to rival Tesla.
All of his shares in Faraday have now been transferred to the creditor trust.
Tesla did not reveal how much they paid for the land, however the Shanghai Bureau of Planning and Land Resources revealed in October 2018 that a plot of 864,885 square metres had been sold at auction at a price of 973 million yuan ($140.51 million)
The huge white workshop which dominates the 864,885-square-metre lot is now complete and more facilities are being built
Chinese market analysts expect Tesla's huge factory on the outskirts of Shanghai to start producing electric cars by the end of the month. Workers have complete the construction of the first phase of the 864,885-square-metre complex
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