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The electric-car maker will deliver its first 15 China-made Model 3 sedans on Dec. 30 – all to company employees, a representative told Reuters.
A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
Tesla broke ground at its $2 billion Shanghai plant in January and began making vehicles there in October with the hope of producing 250,000 vehicles at the plant each year once production of the Model Y crossover utility vehicle gets fully up to speed. Deliveries of the vehicle are expected to start in summer 2020.
Tesla has a lot riding on its business in China, which CEO Elon Musk believes will fuel the next leg of growth at the company. He hopes to take market share in the world’s largest electric-vehicle market from local rivals such as Nio and Xpeng Motors. The Model 3 starts at 355,800 Chinese yuan ($50,800).
“The Tesla story and future growth will be heavily depending on China which is why the Giga 3 ramp (and financing) and gauging demand in the key region will be front and center for investors over the next 12 to 18 months,” wrote Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, who on Thursday raised his price target to $370 from $270.
“2020 represents a pivotal year for Musk & Co. as ultimately this will be the year the bulls have been waiting for with China coming on board and Musk’s grand EV vision starts to take hold......or hits another stumble and the bears will come quickly out of hibernation mode heading into next year with the stock at new highs.”
On Thursday, Tesla secured a $1.29 billion loan from Chinese banks that can be used for construction and production at the Shanghai plant, as well as for repaying a loan due on March 4, Reuters said.
Tesla has rallied 69.2 percent since reporting a surprise third-quarter profit on Oct. 23, sending short-sellers rushing for the exit. Shares have gained 29.5 percent this year, in line with the S&P 500.