Tesla said it had completed construction of an R&D facility and data centre in Shanghai, China, both set to become operational in the near future.

The US electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer wanted to tailor its products to better suit the local Chinese vehicle market, which was rapidly embracing connected technologies, autonomous driving and electrification.

The Shanghai R&D facility was Tesla’s first outside the US and would focus initially on the development of software and electronic systems, materials and recharging systems. Tesla said it expected the new facility to grow in time to a similar size to that in the US.

Tesla said in a statement last month: “The goal is to design, develop and produce new vehicle models and products with Chinese cultural elements in China and sell vehicles globally.”

Tesla’s Shanghai plant, which makes the Model 3 and Model Y, has a production capacity of 450,000 vehicles per year. It produced an estimated 306,000 vehicles in the first nine months of the year, of which 101,000 were exported.

Tesla has also completed a new centre in Shanghai to store the company’s operational data in response to Chinese government concerns over data security and demands that data generated in China be stored locally.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk last month pointed to the rising importance of data security as vehicles become increasingly smart and autonomous, saying: “Data security is not only the responsibility of any single company but also the cornerstone of the whole industry development. Tesla will work with national authorities in all countries to ensure data security of intelligent and connected vehicles.”