China clears Tesla to sell Shanghai-made Model Y SUVs

China clears Tesla to sell Shanghai-made Model Y SUVs

Chinese officials have given Tesla the green light to sell Model Y SUVs made at its Shanghai plant once they start rolling off the assembly line there.

Beijing’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted the approval on its website Monday, clearing a regulatory hurdle for Tesla as it expands its presence in the world’s largest market for electric cars.

The Elon Musk-led automaker has been building up the capacity to manufacture the Model Y at its Chinese plant, which opened about a year ago and is already able to produce 250,000 Model 3 sedans annually. Tesla expects to start delivering Shanghai-made Model Y’s next year.

China has played a significant role in Tesla’s expansion plans as the Silicon Valley giant worked to deliver 500,000 vehicles by the end of the year. The company sold more than 13,000 vehicles there in October and reportedly exported about 7,000 Model 3’s from China to Europe late last month.

Employees work at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai.
Employees work at the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai.Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Tesla already makes the Model Y at its main car factory in Fremont, California, where production was temporarily halted earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company recalled about 400 Model Y’s in the US last week over concerns that loose bolts in the steering system could affect the driver’s ability to steer.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration separately announced Friday that it had launched a formal investigation into about 115,000 Tesla cars over safety concerns about their suspensions. A similar problem led the company to recall about 30,000 vehicles in China last month, but Tesla told US regulators at the time that the issue was “exceedingly rare.”

Tesla shares were down about 2.8 percent Monday at $569.29 as of 10:51 a.m.

With Post wires