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Tesla to launch local vehicle design in China

By just-auto.com editorial team | 12 January 2021

Tesla is looking to appoint a director to head up local vehicle design operations in China, according to local reports citing industry insiders.

The US EV manufacturer reportedly plans to open a "full-function" design studio in the country, in either Shanghai or Beijing, to develop vehicles closely tailored to the­ Chinese market.

The automaker's human resources managers, along with several headhunting firms, are said to have been searching for a suitable candidate for the job for the last four months, with the company's global design chief Franz von Holzhausen having already carried out several interviews.

The company is said to be looking for a "bicultural" candidate, with more than 20 years' experience in this field, who is familiar with Chinese tastes and will "bridge the gaps" between China and the US.

Tesla is estimated to have sold around 135,000 to 140,000 vehicles in China last year, accounting for around 10% of the local NEV market. 

The company launched local production of the Model 3 at its new Shanghai gigafactory at the end of 2019 and plans to add the Model Y battery-powered SUV to its local line-up this month at a significant discount to the imported model.