Tesla is reported to be putting together “a major engineering team in China.” The EV maker is looking for first-line technicians, software engineers and marketing experts, as it gears towards mass production at its Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai by the end of the year.
As production is about to start, the number of workers in the factory is increasing, and Tesla is undergoing a massive hiring effort in Shanghai, hoping to continue developing firmware and software for both factory and vehicles. At present, Tesla is listing over 200 jobs in Shanghai on its career website.
“This includes the original engineering of new factory processes and cars. Great engineers will only join if original engineering is supported, not just localization,” Elon Musk said on Twitter.
The success of Gigafactory 3 and the Chinese-made Model 3 is going to be highly dependent on Tesla’s growing Chinese team. Having a factory in China will reduce the shipping costs required to deliver vehicles to Chinese customers, which could allow Tesla to make price cuts and attract more customers.
Tesla is increasing its investment in China at a time when auto sales are declining for the first time in almost three decades, and the Chinese government is cutting subsidies for electric vehicles. After introducing generous incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2014, China’s government plans to phase them out entirely by the end of next year.
In 2018, China experienced its first annual auto-sales decrease since 1990. And during the first half of this year, passenger-vehicle sales in China declined by nearly 10% compared to last year.