Tesla confirmed it plans to set up a design studio in China to better tailor vehicles for the local market, the largest outlet for electric vehicles worldwide.

The announcement followed the opening of fellow US carmaker General Motors’ enlarged Advanced Design Center in Shanghai earlier this month, which the company said had significantly increased its ability to develop electric and connected vehicles.

In a statement, a Tesla spokesman said: “We look forward to soon seeing China-designed and China-made Tesla models sold around the world. China has the most globally advanced new energy vehicle market and Tesla will continue scaling up its investment here.”

Tesla’s Shanghai factory is estimated to have shipped an estimated 163,000 vehicles in the first six months of 2021, including exports which are expected to exceed 100,000 units over the full year.

The company has begun taking orders for a new variant of its China-made Model Y SUV which it said has a range of 525km and can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds.