Tesla Inc said on Monday it would start exporting China-made Model 3 cars to more than 10 European countries this month, joining a growing number of automakers using China as an export hub for electric vehicles.
The U.S. carmaker, which started delivering vehicles made in its Shanghai factory in December, will export China-made cars this month to countries including Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, it said in a statement.
Elsewhere, German rival BMW is preparing to export its electric iX3 model, made at a joint venture plant in Shenyang, China, to Europe, while Daimler is shifting production of its Smart branded city cars to Hangzhou Bay.
Tesla has been expanding in China even as tensions between Washington and Beijing have been escalating. The Shanghai factory, Tesla’s first car plant outside of the United States, aims to build 150,000 vehicles this year.
“Support from Chinese government towards the industry, innovative local companies and customers embracing new technologies make China the best market for smart electric vehicles,” Tesla said, adding it would expand car production, charging and sales networks in China.